Every day, about 13 million commercial trucks zoom past on our highways and interstates. Being next to one of these vehicles can be terrifying, especially if they’re driving fast. Speeding is dangerous for smaller vehicles, so how much more damage can it cause in a large truck?

Not only should commercial trucks always follow the speed limits, there are some times they need to drive under the speed limit. Read on to learn how fast commercial trucks can safely travel on highways in Georgia.

Georgia Speed Limits

Unless it’s posted otherwise, Georgia has a set of standard speed limits.

  • 30 miles an hour in any urban or residential district
  • 35 miles an hour on an unpaved county road
  • 65 miles an hour on an urban interstate or on a multi-lane divided highway
  • 70 miles an hour on a rural interstate
  • 55 miles an hour in all other areas

Commercial trucks are required to follow these speed limits while driving in Georgia. But are these speeds safe for them to follow?

When Should Commercial Trucks Slow Down?

In good weather and ideal driving conditions, commercial trucks may be able to safely travel at the speed limits listed above – never over them. But there are several conditions that may make it necessary for these trucks to slow down. Any loss of friction on the road could lead to devastating crashes.

Any time it’s snowy, icy, or raining, commercial trucks should drive about a third under the posted speed limit. So if they’re driving on an urban interstate, trucks should go about 40 miles an hour if the weather is bad. 

The same goes for roads with lots of hills, curves, or road hazards. 

What Role Does Speed Play in Crashes?

Driving 40 miles an hour on the interstate may seem absurd, so is it really necessary? Speeding can play an enormous role in truck crashes – both causing them and making them worse.

Let’s take a quick look at some truck crash statistics related to speeding.

  • 23 percent of crashes with large trucks happen because the driver was going too fast for the road conditions.
  • A quarter of those speeding-related crashes happen in bad weather.
  • A loaded commercial truck is about ten times more likely to roll when going at a high speed than an empty one.

In addition to causing more crashes, speeding tends to make truck crashes worse. These vehicles can weigh up to 80,000 pounds, which makes crashes with them much more devastating. Every year, nearly 200 people die in truck accidents around Georgia. 

What Causes These Crashes?

So we know that speeding is dangerous for commercial trucks, but what exactly does it result in?

There are several collision types that can result from speeding

  • Rollovers – When a truck is going too fast around a curve, it may roll over.
  • Jackknifing – Jackknifing happens when a truck folds in on itself, with the cab and the trailer making a V shape. This often happens when a driver tries to stop too quickly and the weight of the trailer pushes it forward even though the cab is stopped.
  • Tire blowouts – Truck tires are designed to operate within safe speed limits. When the driver goes faster than that, it can compromise the integrity of the tire and cause a blowout.
  • Pedestrian accidents – A truck may not have time to stop for a pedestrian in the road, especially when driving on roads with lots of hills or curves.
  • Stop-short collisions – If a driver realizes they’re going too fast going into a turn or down a hill, they may slam on their brakes to slow down in time. This can cause other cars behind them to run into them.
  • Skidding out – When a driver tries to slam on their brakes, the inertia of the trailer can cause the truck to skid out. It’s easy for a driver to lose control of their truck, and they may even turn over.
  • Sideswipe or swaying collisions – When trucks are going too fast, every little bump in the road may cause their trailer to sway or swerve. The trailer can collide with other vehicles, or the truck may wind up sideswiping someone.
  • Rear-ending accidents – A driver going too fast won’t have time to stop for the vehicle in front of them and so may run into the back of them.

Going the proper speed can help to reduce the risk of all of these collision types.

Get Support After a Truck Accident

Going the proper speed limit is important in any vehicle, but it’s absolutely critical for large trucks. Commercial trucks take longer to get stopped, and crashes with them can be devastating. In general, it’s best for commercial trucks to go no faster than the posted speed limit and up to 30 percent slower if the weather is bad.

If you’ve been injured in a commercial truck accident, you could be entitled to compensation. Our lawyers will help you take on the insurance giants and the trucking companies to get a fair settlement. Schedule a free consultation with us to get the representation you deserve.

Contact the Atlanta Truck Accident Lawyers at Hasner Law, P.C. For Help

For more information, please contact the Atlanta car accident law firm of Hasner Law P.C. at our nearest location to schedule a free consultation today.

We serve in Fulton County, Chatham County, and its surrounding areas:

Hasner Law PC – Atlanta Law Office
2839 Paces Ferry Rd SE #1050
Atlanta, GA 30339
(678) 888-4878

Hasner Law PC – Savannah Law Office
221 W York St
Savannah, GA 31401
(912) 234-2334

Author Stephen Headshot
Managing Partner at Hasner Law PC
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Stephen Hasner is the founder and managing partner of Hasner Law PC. Since being licensed in Florida in 1997 and in Georgia in 1999, Stephen has worked tirelessly to help Georgia residents navigate the legal process following a serious injury. This includes injuries sustained at work, in motor vehicle accidents, and in cases of personal injury. The team at Hasner Law is dedicated to securing compensation for their clients who have been injured through no fault of their own.