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Why commercial trucks shouldn't travel over 65 MPH

At some point, most New York drivers have likely been guilty of speeding. While a widely accepted practice, speeding is an incredibly dangerous driving behavior and, according to the American Trucking Association, is a "factor in nearly 30 percent of all fatal crashes," in the U.S.

Anyone who has ever attempted to quickly slow down or stop a vehicle traveling at a high rate of speed can likely understand why speeding is so dangerous. Driving over the posted speed limit is especially hazardous in cases where there is road construction, heavy traffic or inclement weather. Additionally, when traveling at a high rate of speed, the type of vehicle that an individual is driving can also significantly impact one's ability to maneuver, slow or stop quickly.

With the backing of the American Trucking Association, in 2011, the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration and the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration vowed to act on a measure that would mandate a maximum speed of 65 MPH for all commercial trucks. Fast forward to 2015, and these highway safety agencies have failed to enact any "speed limiter mandate."

The average personal vehicle weights roughly two tons. In contrast, a loaded commercial truck may weigh up to 40 tons. Consequently, it takes about 50 percent longer for a commercial truck to come to a complete stop than a car. Additionally, a commercial truck traveling at 65 MPH takes "almost 50 percent longer to stop," than one traveling at 55 MPH.

Despite the high number of speed-related traffic fatalities and the support of the ATA, the federal government has failed to take any action with regard to limiting the speeds of commercial vehicles. In fact, in recent years, several states have taken steps to increase speed limits from 65 MPH to between 70 and 85 MPH.

Source: Trucking News Online, "9 Years Later, ATA Still Urging Feds to Reduce Truck Speeds," April 21, 2015

Justdrivepa.org, “Heavy Trucks,” April 27, 2015

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