Posted On: May 20, 2009 by Steven J. Malman

Illinois Truck Accidents: Weighing the Benefits of Raising the Large Truck Speed Limit on Rural Interstates

Now that both the Illinois House and the Senate have approved legislation that would increase the semi-truck speed limit to 65 mph on rural interstates, it will be up to Governor Pat Quinn to decide whether to approve or veto the plan. This is not the first time legislation such as this has reached an Illinois Governor’s desk. Former Governor Rod Blagojevich vetoed legislation calling for the same mph maximum on three occasions because of what he said were safety concerns that could arise if large trucks were allowed to travel at the faster speed.

Preventing Illinois Truck Accidents
The question of whether or not it is safer or more dangerous to let trucks drive faster can result in different answers—depending on who you ask. Trucks that move at a fast pace tend to get their jobs done faster, which means that these vehicles don't have to spend as much time on the roads—possibly decreasing the chances of becoming involved in a large truck accident. Then again, the faster a truck goes, the more gas it spends, and its higher speed could also increase the chances the driver could become involved in a semi-truck accident. After all, excess speeding is often cited as a leading cause of large truck crashes.

A 2007 Forbes article cites The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration as reporting that excess speed was the “critical precrash event” in 18% of all large truck crashes that were analyzed for a large truck causation study. A high-risk study conducted by the American Transportation Research Institute found that among truck drivers convicted of speeding at least 15mph above the legal speed limit, 56% of these truckers ended up being involved in a large truck accident the following year.

In the recent years, the ATA had recommended to the FMCSA that engine governors be installed in large trucks to make sure that trucks don’t go over a 68 mph speed limit. The ATA has said this could decrease truck accident deaths by up to 10%.

Semis going 65? It's up to Gov. Quinn,, May 18, 2009

Truck Speed--Too Fast, Too Slow?,, March 6, 2007

Related Web Resources:
Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration

American Transportation Research Institute

Chicago truck accident lawyer Steve Malman has the experience to help Illinois truck crash victims pursue recovery for their personal injuries.

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