The Official Blog of Penske Transportation Solutions
An empty desert road with a Speed Enforced By Radar sign.

Speed Management 101 for CMV Drivers

If you think people are driving faster these days, you’re probably right. But it’s wise to think twice before you decide to try and keep up.

Speeding was a factor in 29% of all traffic fatalities in 2021. Additionally, more than 115,000 driver violations during inspections in 2021 were related to speeding, according to the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration’s (FMCSA) 2022 Large Truck and Bus Statistics guide.

Each speeding ticket carries fines and adds points to your license, putting you at risk for a possible suspension of your driver's license and loss of CDL privileges. Any violation clocked at 15+ mph or more above the posted limit is considered a serious offense in all 50 states. Speeding also reduces your carriers’ Compliance, Safety, Accountability (CSA) scores. And most importantly, it puts you and everyone on the road with you at serious risk of injury and possibly even death.

Speeding-Related Driver Violations During Inspections, 2021
63,950: Driving 6 – 10 mph over the speed limit
30,280: Driving 11 – 14 mph over the speed limit
21,356: Driving 15+ mph over the speed limit

While many fleets now use speed limiters and adaptive cruise control, it’s still up to each driver to operate their vehicle as safely as possible. So, slow down! Follow this simple speed management plan.

Never drive faster than the posted speed limit.

Adjust your speed based on road conditions. Slippery roadways create additional hazards. In general, plan to reduce your speed by one-third in rain and by half or more on hard-packed snow. Proceed very cautiously on ice, especially on bridges, ramps and in shaded areas. In fog, drive only as fast as you feel safe.

Don’t ‘set it and forget it.’ Never set cruise control higher than the posted speed limit. Don’t turn off safety features like adaptive cruise control.

Stay calm. Traffic congestion, running late and rude driving all raise the risk for aggressive behaviors like speeding. Plan ahead as much as possible so you’re not in a rush.

Follow at a safe distance. Leave about seven to eight seconds between you and the vehicle ahead. Double your following distance in bad weather or heavy traffic.

Watch those curves. Always slow down before you enter a curve to prevent cargo shifts and rollovers. Take turns and ramps at 5 – 10 mph below the posted limit.

Look ahead. Watch the road for slowing or stopped traffic at all times. Avoid cell phones and other distractions while your truck is in motion. If you must use a cellular device, ensure it's hands-free and set up before you start your drive.