How Fast Can Commercial Trucks Safely Travel on Florida Highways?
June 21, 2022 | Sagi Shaked
A fast-moving commercial truck can be an alarming sight. From two-lane highways to hurricane-season weather, driving conditions in Florida leave plenty of opportunities for a driver to be concerned about the speed of a commercial truck sharing the road with smaller vehicles.
Safe truck speeds are regulated by Florida law, but the speed limit alone isn’t always enough to determine safety. When in doubt, maintain distance from a fast-moving commercial truck and stay out of the driver’s blindspots.
Commercial Trucks Are Heavily Regulated
The size and speed of commercial trucks are regulated for a reason. In 2020 alone, 44,934 people were injured in accidents involving large trucks, and another 831 were killed.
Heavily-laden commercial trucks speeding down the highway pose a serious safety risk to other highway drivers. Many factors contribute to the regulations that commercial trucks are subject to.
These include matters like:
- Number of axles
- Load weight
- Height and length
- Speed limit
- Lane usage
Teams of engineers work to identify what is and isn’t safe when it comes to commercial trucks transporting goods across Florida’s highways.
Yet, despite the best efforts by commercial truck manufacturers, trucking companies, and government entities like the Florida Department of Transportation (FDOT), all these safety precautions can be for nothing if they’re undermined by one person — the truck driver behind the wheel.
Commercial Truck Speed Limits in Florida
Unlike some other states, Florida doesn’t have reduced speed limits for commercial trucks. This means that the speed limit you see posted applies to all vehicles on the road — commercial trucks included.
The highest posted speed limit on Florida highways is 70 mph. This means that a commercial truck moving at this speed isn’t exceeding the speed limit. However, the question of safety encompasses more than the speed limit alone.
There are plenty of circumstances in which a commercial truck may not be speeding but also isn’t traveling at a safe speed.
These situations include:
- Poor weather conditions
- Night driving
- Congested traffic
- Construction zones
- Overweight loads
- Reckless or drowsy trucker
As any driver knows, the speed limit alone isn’t an indicator of safe driving. Given the size and weight of a commercial truck, a trucker has a heightened duty to notice and adjust to conditions that impact the safety of a truck’s speed.
How Florida Regulates Commercial Trucks
Although Florida doesn’t place different speed limitations on commercial trucks, there’s still plenty of effort that goes into ensuring that commercial trucks are operating safely.
The responsibility of commercial truck safety rests on the shoulders of the trucker. Fortunately, the state of Florida works to make it easy for truckers to understand and follow local regulations.
Florida has truck lane restrictions that limit lane-sharing between truckers and other drivers. In addition to marking these, the FDOT offers an interactive online map of restricted lanes, complete with the mile markers. This makes it easy for truckers to know exactly when and where they can drive, regardless of posted signage.
The state’s Weight Enforcement program works to ensure that a truck can safely travel at the posted speed limits given its weight and size.
However, despite the many safety precautions, commercial truck accidents still occur on Florida highways.
Staying Safe Around Commercial Trucks in Florida
The best policy for sharing the road with a commercial truck is to play it safe. Know the speed limit and follow the state of Florida’s suggestions for safe driving. Commercial truck accidents often have tragic outcomes, so giving a truck extra space can keep you and your loved ones safe.
If you are involved in an accident with a commercial truck, your first step should be to contact an experienced Florida truck accident lawyer. When a negligent trucker causes injury or death, they can be held financially responsible for the losses from an accident.