At the Law Offices of Jon Friedman, our Oregon truck accident attorneys understand the importance of the commercial trucking industry here and across the U.S. Last year, commercial trucks transported 11.46 billion tons of freight, representing 72.6% of the total domestic tonnage shipped.
We also know that the sheer size and weight of these vehicles can cause severe truck accidents on highways, rural roads, and city streets when speeding is a factor. When it comes to the safe operation of commercial trucks, complying with speed limits is vital.
What are the Oregon State Laws and Regulations for Commercial Truck Speed Limits?
The Oregon Department of Transportation lists two types of speed limits throughout the state: Statutory Speed Limits and Designated Speed Limits.
Statutory speed limits are described explicitly in state law and include the following:
- 15 mph – Alleys and narrow residential roadways.
- 20 mph – Business districts, school zones, and some residential areas.
- 25 mph – Residential districts, public parks, and ocean shores.
- 55 mph – Most open rural highways; and trucks on most interstate highways.
- 60 mph – Trucks on some open rural highways.
- 65 mph – Passenger vehicles, light trucks, motor homes, and light duty commercial vehicles on most interstate highways; some open rural highways; trucks on some interstate and open rural highways.
- 70 mph – Passenger vehicles, light trucks, motor homes, and light-duty commercial vehicles on some interstate and open rural highways.
Speed limits that differ from the statutory speed limit of a roadway are known as designated speed limits established through an engineering investigation based on national standards.
In addition to statutory and designated speed limits, all travel on public streets and highways in Oregon is subject to the “basic speed rule,” which states that a motorist must drive at a reasonable and prudent speed at all times by considering:
- Dangers at intersections.
- Other traffic.
- Road and weather conditions.
- Any other conditions that affect safety and speed.
Simply put, the “basic speed rule” expects drivers to use good judgment when determining how fast they can drive. For instance, a driver may travel below the speed limit but still too fast for rain, ice, or snow conditions.
Commercial Truck Crash Consequences Increase When Speeding
Speeding is dangerous for any vehicle on Oregon roadways. However, the risks increase for commercial truck drivers because of the size and weight of the vehicles.
When a semi-truck driver is speeding, there is:
- Increased Degree of Crash Severity Leading to More Severe Injuries.
- Increased Stopping Distances.
- Loss of Vehicle Control.
- Reduced Effectiveness of Occupant Protection Equipment.
- Reduced Vehicle Stability.
- Slower Reaction Times.
In many cases, the injuries from a commercial truck crash can be life-changing, requiring extensive medical treatment, rehabilitation, and ongoing care. Before speaking with the insurance company about your crash, injuries, or a loved one’s fatality, contact our Multnomah County truck accident attorneys at the Law Offices of Jon Friedman at (503) 242-1440 to schedule a free consultation and get the help you need to make informed decisions about the direction of your case.