Since the Ohio Turnpike increased its speed limit for commercial vehicles from 55 to 65 mph on Sept. 8, there was a 36% increase in commercial vehicle crashes for the period ended May 31, according to the Ohio State Highway Patrol. The increased truck speed limit makes it consistent with that of passenger vehicles on the turnpike.
In May 2005, the average speed for passenger vehicles and commercial vehicles, respectively, were 75 mph and 67 mph. Before the changed speed limit, autos averaged 72 mph and commercial vehicles 62 mph, reported the Associated Press.
This marks a disproportionate number of commercial truck accidents relative to the 16% increase in the number of commercial vehicles on the Turnpike from May 2004 to May 2005.
Ohio Turnpike officials told the Associated Press that it is not clear whether the increase in accidents is related to the speed limit increase, and that last winter’s driving conditions may have played a role.