When driving down the road in your car, you find that you are stuck behind a semi-truck and trailer. Most people are in such a rush that they get angry at the driver and pass the truck when possible. You don’t want to admit it, but as you’re passing the semi-truck, you want to shout to the driver to go faster and move along. What most drivers don’t know is that 70 percent of trucking companies have speed limiters on their trucks. Why would trucking companies want this? They don’t want their drivers to do less due to the lower speed, but because of greater safety.
The American Trucking Association is pushing for all semi-trucks to have this limiter put on immediately. The ATA has previously petitioned the government about the limiters and the federal highway safety regulators proposed the use of the devices in 2011. However, the the proposed regulation has been stalled for years because of cost analyses and government reviews.
Why is it safer for tractor trailers to have a speed limiter? The ATA wanted the speed limiter in place because of the trucks tires. Almost all truck tires have been built for a maximum sustained speed of 75 mph. Most of the US have speed limits for all drivers in place that are 70 and below. There are states that do have a higher speed limit in place. 14 states, mainly west of the Mississippi River, have speed limits of 75 or greater. Texas, Wyoming, Utah, and South Dakota have limits of 80 or higher.
What is the safety issue for this excessive speeding? Many tractor trailers go throughout the US going over the 75 MPH that their tires are designed to handle. If the temperature of the tire becomes too high, then the tire can blowout and can cause a wreck.
Just remember the next time you pass a tractor trailer that they aren’t going slow because they want to, they are doing so to make the road safer.