Truck Speed Limit Regulations by State

Why do state laws vary?

Commercial truck crossing bridge
•••   Alan Thornton / Getty Images 

In the United States, there are different speed limit regulations for cars and trucks per each state or jurisdiction — which usually means that the truck speed limit is lower than that of passenger vehicles (depending on various conditions).

These specific speed limits are usually only applicable to large commercial motor vehicles (CMVs) such as trailers, buses, and heavy trucks, and depend on whether it is in urban or densely populated areas, as well as whether it is day or night driving.

Truck Speed Limit Laws: The Complete List

Highway speed limits can range from 35 mph (56 km/h) in urban areas to 85 mph (137 km/h) in rural areas. Typically posted in increments of five miles per hour (mph), truck speed limits are set by either the state or the local counties, municipalities or other local statutes. Many jurisdictions have speed limits that are lower for trucks (not light trucks or large passenger vehicles referred to as trucks). 

Be sure to check all posted speed limits and drive according to the conditions of the road. The information listed below is only general information and is only meant to be used as a reference. It should not be considered the legal authority. 

State Rural Interstates Urban Interstates Other Limited Access Roads
Alabama 70 65 65
Alaska 55 55 55
Arizona 75 65 65
Arkansas 70 60 65
California 55 55 55
Colorado 75 65 65
Connecticut 65 55 65
Delaware 55 55 65
D.C. N/A 55 N/A
Florida 70 65 70
Georgia 70 55 65
Guam N/A* N/A* N/A*
Hawaii 60 60 55
Idaho 70 65 70
Illinois 70 55 55
Indiana 65 55 60
Iowa 70 55 65
Kansas 75 70 70
Kentucky 65 65 65
Louisiana 75 75 70
Maine 75 75 75
Maryland 70 70 70
Massachusetts 65 65 65
Michigan 55-60 55-60 55-60
Minnesota 70 55, 60 or 65 65
Mississippi 70 70 70
Missouri 70 60 65
Montana 65 65 70Day / 65Night
Nebraska 75 65 65
Nevada 80 65 70
New Hampshire 65 or 70 65 55
New Jersey 65 55 65
New Mexico 75 65 60-70
New York 65 55 55 with exceptions
North Carolina 70 70 60
North Dakota 75 75 70 or 65 (4 lanes or less)
N.M. Islands None 25 None
Ohio 70 65 70
Oklahoma 75 70 70
Oregon 55 or 65 55 or 65 55
Pennsylvania 65** 65** 65**
Rhode Island 65 55 55
South Carolina 70 70 55
South Dakota 80 80 70
Tennessee 70 70 70
Texas 75 75 75
Utah 75 65 75
Vermont 65 55 50
Virgin Islands 40 55 20
Virginia 70 70 65
Washington 60 60 60
West Virginia 70 60 or 65 65
Wisconsin 70 70 70
Wyoming 75 75 65
Truck Speed Limit, in miles per hour (mph)***

Why Do State Laws Vary?

Traditionally, states are responsible for setting speed limits. However, in the mid-1970s Congress withheld funds from states that had speed limits that were higher than 55 mph by passing the National Maximum Speed Law. It was done for a couple of reasons:

  • As a response to the 1973 oil crisis, to reduce gasoline consumption. It was done since cars were thought to run more efficiently and use less gas at a speed of 55 mph (this effect on fuel efficiency has been heavily debated.)
  • Thought to increase safety. But the impact on safety is unclear as studies and opinions of safety advocates are mixed when it comes to speed limits for trucks.

At the time, motorists widely disregarded the law, and in 1987 the requirements were changed for rural interstates and then completely repealed by 1995. Speed limit choices were again up to the states and today, 41 states have some portions of the roadway system that have speed limits of 70mph or higher.

In rare instances, such as for West Virginia, speed limits are not set by law, but by the Commissioner of the Division of Highways. In Rhode Island, speed limits not set by law, but by state traffic commission. For more information on individual state speed limits or transportation laws, contact the State Highway Safety Offices in each state.

*Guam does not have any Interstates. The maximum truck speed limit is 35 in rural areas, 15 in residential areas, 15 or 25 in school zones.

**Based on an engineering and traffic investigation, Pennsylvania truck speed limit is 70 on specific segments.

***Table data was compiled from the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS).