The main factor that limits a semi’s speed, of course, is the speed limit. If you drive down the interstate, you’ll quickly see that trucks are often given a lower speed limit than passenger cars. Even though truck drivers are often paid by the mile and make more money by covering more ground, they have to go slower because such heavy vehicles are more dangerous in an accident.
Some trucking companies take extra steps to avoid accidents. For example, they may add a governor to the vehicle, which limits the speed to 68 miles per hour. This roughly keeps the truck at or under the speed limit, offering just a little extra for passing situations.
Trucking companies want to prevent accidents, protecting drivers, vehicles and other traffic. They also want to show that they tried to force their drivers to be safe, which can help them if there is an accident and the company is being blamed. They don’t want to be liable for the crash.
Another factor that keeps speed down is fuel. Many truckers have to buy this on their own. Going over 65 MPH in such a heavy vehicle burns more gas per mile. Thus, while truckers may have a financial incentive to speed to increase wages or get more jobs, they may also have a financial incentive to slow down.
In some cases, all of these factors aren’t enough. Trucks still speed to try to cover extra miles, and they cause accidents that could easily have been avoided. Those who are injured in these accidents must know what legal rights they have to financial compensation.
Source: Jalopnik, “What you don’t know about the truck driver you just flipped off,” Dan Hanson, accessed July 14, 2017