Trucking Industries Informative - Are Split Speeds really safe??

Review by truckin21 on 2007-01-31
I would like to get everyones comments, or reviews, on why they think an 80k pound vehicle travelling 55mph on an INTERSTATE HIGHWAY where all other vehicles are travelling 70/75/80 or faster is a "safe condition".
Comments:26 Replies - Latest reply on 2008-01-06
Posted by S on 2007-01-31:
One thought is the distance required for a truck to stop is much greater than a car... I know it is the law, but I rarely see trucks going 55... Most of them stick up around 70 where I drive.
Posted by bill on 2007-01-31:
In my opinion a truck traveling 20% slower than the rest of traffice is not safer condition. If forces alot of people to have to slow down and change lanes to pass. I have never heard of split speed. Is this sometihing new?
Posted by Anonymous on 2007-01-31:
I didn't know that was the law. Is that a state or federal limitation? I agree with Sparicus - all the big rigs on our interstates tend to travel with or faster than the flow of traffic.
Posted by Anonymous on 2007-01-31:
i don't see how to avoid this problem
Posted by Anonymous on 2007-01-31:
Do we really need a trucker high on pills driving at 70 MPH?
Posted by bill on 2007-01-31:
My dad always told me that truck drivers are the best drivers on the road because driving is what they do for a living. Over the years I have noticed that when I see an accident on the highway it's usually cars involved and rarely a truck.
Posted by Anonymous on 2007-01-31:
I agree with Sparticus and around here they do 80 if they can get away with it. Not to mention they drive to close to cars anyway. Going through the montains you see trucks turn over from going to fast.
Posted by truckin21 on 2007-01-31:
Blll: where do you live? How old are you? California, Oregon, Washington, Illinois, Arkansas, Idaho, Indiana, Michigan, Montana, Ohio (which just recently icreased truck speed the Turnpike only), Texas. All of these states have a slower speed limit for trucks than they do for cars. All of this information can be found in the front of any Motor Carriers Atlas and can be obtained at any truck stop.
Posted by *Brenda* on 2007-01-31:
SloMo, Do we really need car drivers high on pills driving 70 mph? I don't know what point you were trying to make from that statement because druggies could drive any vehicle. Are you saying truckers are druggies? I take offense to that; my husband drives an 18 wheeler and has never done a drug. His company does random drug testing, a LOT. I don't know of a trucking company that wouldn't require a drug test.

Stew, it's a state thing. I found this page where a trucker asked the same question.
Based on one response the states that do it are CA, OR, IL, OH, & MI.

I've never seen it before personally but I can't imagine how they would think that is safe. I think Bill is right.

A lot of people in cars are very careless around trucks and split speeds probably just makes it worse.
Posted by truckin21 on 2007-01-31:
Brenda: Nice response, Read my next review and you will know why I put the question out there. Also; SloMo; where do you get your information?
Posted by truckin21 on 2007-01-31:
PWP: What do you mean, you don't know how to avoid it? Also a little note to Brenda: you are right, trucking (at least reputable ones) by law are required to have random drug test. But, our laws do not apply to Mexican trucks and drivers. And ever since this NAFTA snafu came into effect, now Mexican trucks can run on US roads.
Posted by Slimjim on 2007-01-31:
I agree with Bill. It's the dramatically faster or slower drivers that create the unsafest conditions. 55 is too slow if the speed limit for cars is 70, especially assuming they'll be averaging 75-80.
Posted by Anonymous on 2007-01-31:
Why can't I see bills comment on here?
Posted by Slimjim on 2007-01-31:
Liddy, it sounds like you're blocking him. Check your block list and see if he's there. I have to laugh because on a thread not long ago you were saying "who's Bill" when his posts were like 5 deep all over it. Now I get it, but at the time I was wondering if you were hitting the saki too hard.
Posted by Anonymous on 2007-01-31:
Could this be a reason?

2005 National Large Truck Crash Facts

4,932 Large Trucks Involved in Fatal Crashes
5,212 Fatalities in Crashes Involving Large Trucks
139,772 Large Trucks Involved in Non-Fatal Crashes
60,617 Large Trucks Involved in Injury Crashes
91,824 Injuries in Crashes Involving Large Trucks
79,155 Large Trucks Involved in Towaway Crashes
2,371 Large Trucks Involved in Hazmat (HM) Placard Crashes
Posted by truckin21 on 2007-01-31:
Lidman: from what I see bils comments are 2nd and 5th.
You give some pretty outstanding figures, but what you DON'T give is THE CAUSE of all these accidents, why not? You gave the figures now tell us how many of these were caused BY the truck driver, and how many were caused by "4-wheelers".
Posted by *Brenda* on 2007-01-31:
Car Crash Stats: There were nearly 6,420,000 auto accidents in the United States in 2005. The financial cost of these crashes is more than 230 Billion dollars. 2.9 million people were injured and 42,636 people killed. About 115 people die every day in vehicle crashes in the United States -- one death every 13 minutes.
Posted by Slimjim on 2007-02-01:
Using Brenda's numbers against the stats liddy showed, it seems a large truck proportionally had an accident roughly once out of every 6.4 crashes and one of roughly every eight fatalities. That surprises me because there certainly is more than 8 cars to a truck on the road, and I would have guessed the trucking stats would have showed a safer incident ratio.
Posted by *Brenda* on 2007-02-01:
But, like truckin said, we don't know what/who caused the truck accidents. There are a lot of people who cut them off and swerve around them or stay in their blind spots.
Posted by spiderman2 on 2007-02-01:
I live near and travel I-81 in PA frequently. We have a lot of truck traffic because there is a trucking hub in Carlisle, PA. Personally, I think having separate speed limits would be a nightmare for all involved. If everyone obeyed the rules of the road and used common sense we would all be better off, but we all know that will never happen.
Posted by Anonymous on 2007-02-01:
First. Slim and truckin21 Thanks for helping me with the Bill issue and Bill Sorry Man, I guess I hit the wrong button. (FIXED)

Brenda and Slim my point is everybody caused the accidents because, well its like the seat belt law when you really break it down it is still 50/50 if you got it on or not. That is why we have these rules and that is why I agree with spiderman2 "If everyone obeyed the rules of the road and used common sense we would all be better off, but we all know that will never happen", sad but true.

So to say some driver, truck or car, is a better driver or what ever is not even a point we need make.

Posted by truckin21 on 2007-06-28:
I have been goingn over some of my old posts. I see some new comments, both good and bad. Some indifferent. You all have good points/ideas. Thank you for your comments.
M prime concern is: Most of the people that make the rules for truckers have never been in a truck in their life. California and Colorado (and a few other states that I cannot remember) have started what they call: "Ride Alongs". This where the Highway patrol, Senators, Congressmen, and any other interested parties, ride in a "Big Rig". They do this to see for themselves just what we have to face every minute of every day. Alot of the people that "create" laws for trucks, and cars, have had, at one time or another, a bad experience. A family memeber, or friend, was either killed, or maimed, in an accident. They are in grief,or denial(if the family member/friend caused the incident), or they "JUST WANT TO GET EVEN". So, they try (sometimes successfully) to come up with a law to make it harder for the trucker to make an honest living. They don't say a word about the "traveling salesman" who has driven 48 hrs straight (with the benefit of "speed" pills) in is car in order to make a meeting on time. He falls asleep crosses the mediam, headed for a big "accident" with a truck. The truck driver, being alert and cautious, sees this, turns his truck into the ditch to avoid the car, flips his trailer, (which might be loaded with your next TV, Dining room set, or whatever) to save this guys poor life. Now, who gets investigated the most??? Who has to PROVE that he/she was driving "legally"
Who will have an "accident" on his/her record?. Why the trucker, of course, because he/she is the ONLY one that has to keep detailed records of their everyday activities. They are both "driving for a living". The salesman can have an accident everyday. What does he get? Maybe a fine, higher insurance rates, and a new company car. What does the trucker get? If, his LOGBOOK is not current (which alot of them in situations of this type are not) he is automatically at fault. He gets a $1500.00 log book fine, a review of his last 3 months logs, and, if he is lucky, a 1 yr probation period with his company. If he is unlucky, he gets fired, and a report is sent to DAC services, making it all but impossible for him to get a job with another company. But, I have said enough. I appreciate all your comments. Just remember: The next truck you see on the road, might be carrying your new living rm. set, dining rm. set, steak dinner, suit of clothes, maybe even your kids new bike, or MP3 player, so please, give him the room and respect that he/she deserves. Thank You all
Posted by truckin21 on 2007-06-29:
I just read an article in the latest "Land Line Magazine".
Tuesday night (June 26,2007) 5, I repeat, 5!!!!, teens, all Female chearleaders between the ages of 17 & 18 were killed in a collision with a semi. It has been proven that the TRUCK DRIVER WAS NOT at fault. The kids had passed another vehicle and "cut" in front of it, lost control and swereved into the path of the truck driver. The car was engulfed in flames. The driver tried to help the girls but the heat was so intense he could not approach the vehicle. The truck driver was not injured, physically. He will live with this for the rest of his life. Why should ANYBODY be allowed to put THAT kind of experience on another person??!!? You say: "So what, that is life, get over it".. Well, when you see five, or even one, person die before your eyes, from THEIR stupid act, YOU DON'T {GET OVER IT}. You say: "Why me Lord? Why Me??" These kids were probably coming home from a school event (it was 10:00pm). Their school probably won, they wanted to celebrate, fine, do it in a restraunt, at home, at school, in the gym, any place---JUST DON'T DO IT IN A VEHICLE. My prayers go out to the families of these girls and especially to the INNOCENT truck drive that will probably have nightmares for quite some time. I just hope, and pray, that he is able to keep his job and his sanity.
Posted by Poor Trucker on 2008-01-06:
I'm in the California, where semi trucks are limited to 55 MPH and the rest can do 65 or 70 MPH. The California Highway Patrol has accident data to show that we have a considerable number of rear-end accidents, where motorist run unto the back of a semi doing 55 MPH. The legislative rationale behind the law is that a truck can do more damage in an accident, and require more stopping distance, yet the higher rear-end collisions by motorist had only been reported once by the Los Angeles Times. This data is now classified info, or so I was told by a retired CHP officer who's also a personal friend. I asked him if I can get a hold of this statistical data, and he said after the LA Times released the article, the data was removed from files that are open to the general public for access. Its a fact that cities are generating $$$ revenue from semi trucks, who are fined at a higher rate than regular cars. A 10 MPH excess over the posted speed limit is $100 or more in most cities and county courts, but the same violation in a semi truck is at least $500. Thus, in spite of the higher accidents from motorist rear-ending a 55-MPH semi truck, CA prefers to keep this law in place to use truckers as a means to generate and subsidize their revenue needs. Speeding truckers help keep CA from having to raise taxes, in the long run, so its a good law from a public citizens' perspective (so long as they never find out about the rear-end collision statistic).
Posted by Anonymous on 2008-01-06:
Read stuff man, read stuff!

Trucking Accidents and Safety

Every day, more than 555,000 18-wheelers travel our highways bringing goods from all over the world. They also bring something else - death and injury. More than 5,000 deaths and 125,000 injuries in the U.S. are caused annually by collisions with these trucks.

In 2001, 429,000 large trucks (gross vehicle weight rating greater than 10,000 lbs.) were involved in traffic crashes in the United States: 4,793 were involved in fatal crashes. A total of 5,082 people died (12 percent of all the traffic fatalities reported in 2001) and an additional 131,000 were injured in those crashes.

In Oregon, there were almost 700 deaths caused by 18 wheeler accidents in 2001. This has been a 23 percent increase in fatal 18-wheeler accidents from 2000 to 2001 (latest year figures are available.)

Truck-driver fatigue has been cited as a probable factor in up to 40 percent of these crashes. Yet, one of the top priorities of the trucking industry has been to actually increase the number of hours truckers are allowed to drive. The Corson & Johnson Law Firm is working to make sure just the opposite happens - limit behind-the-wheel hours, increase rest time between shifts, create tougher requirements for safer trucks, have better pay and training for drivers, and require more inspections for both the trucks and drivers.
Posted by Anonymous on 2008-01-06:
Last year in Orange County California a 18 wheel truck traveling at 55mph failed to stop for slowing traffic. Ran over a mini van killing the three children in car seats in the back, Mom lived sitting in drivers seat. Freeway traffic was at 40-50 mph the semi was at 55mph. Truck driver was found guilty.

Because his truck traffic speed limit was 55mph did he need to be going 55mph? Ask the parents that lost all three of the children in a split second.

You drive based on the conditions. Semi Trucks can not stop as fast as cars so they should stay to the right lane and at 55mph or under, period. Semi's drive over the top of one he11 of a lot more cars than they get hit in the rear by.

I wish the politicians had some guts and would ban all trucks on busy freeways within big city limits during rush hours. Truck accidents would be cut in half if we could get them off the busy freeways during early morning and late afternoon.

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