If you’re driving through Texas, you need to know the state’s speed limits.
Like other states in the U.S., Texas has multiple statutory speed limits which dictate the maximum speeds on different types of roads.
These speed limits are also known as prima facie speed limits.
While speed limits should be posted when you’re driving Texas roads, you can’t always rely on good signage along your route. (And a missing sign won’t stop you from getting a ticket if you’re speeding.)
So, if you want to avoid a ticket when driving in Texas, you might want to keep these basic speed limits in the back of your mind.
Texas Freeway Speed Limit
Freeways are defined as roads with controlled-access, which means they have on and off ramps and no immediate access to businesses or residential areas.
Basically, they’re interstates.
Texas is notable for having the highest interstate/freeway speed limit in the country (though, not on every interstate road).
Oddly enough, the maximum speed limit on freeways/interstates in Texas is actually only 70 mph according to the legal statutes.
However, Texas allows its Transportation Commission to set higher speed limits based on roadways and average traffic.
Due to this, many interstates in Texas have higher speed limits than the maximum freeway speed listed on their books.
What this translates to in reality is an average interstate speed limit of 75 mph in both rural and urban areas (though some segments within city limits are 70 mph).
There are several segments of I-10 and I-20 through the state that have max speed limits of 80 mph.
Then, there’s Texas’s claim to speed limit fame – the single stretch of freeway in the country with a speed limit of 85 mph.
It is located on Texas’s State Highway 130 (a toll road) and stretches just over 40 miles from Austin to near San Antonio.
Texas HOV Lane Speed Limit
While it would be nice, HOV (or high-occupancy vehicle) lanes in Texas don’t allow you to go faster than the speed limit.
For most HOV lanes in Texas, the maximum speed is 70-75 mph.
Texas Highway Speed Limit
Highways in Texas are defined as main roads with immediate access (turn-offs and driveways) to businesses or residential areas.
These roads may be two-lane roads or multi-lane roads.
The maximum speed on state-numbered highways in Texas (typically multi-lane) is 70 mph.
Two-lane (undivided, non-numbered) highways are typically considered county roads in Texas, and the max statutory speed limit on these roads is 60 mph.
Texas Residential & Business District Speed Limit
Residential districts in Texas are any areas that have a majority of residential buildings, such as single-family houses or apartment blocks.
Business districts are any areas that have a majority of businesses accessed directly from the road, typically downtown streets.
The speed limit in residential neighborhoods and business districts in Texas is 30 mph, unless otherwise posted.
Neighborhoods, especially those with private-access streets, often have lower speed limits.
Texas Truck Speed Limit
Texas does not have reduced speed limits for large vehicles.
Semis, buses, and other large passenger/cargo vehicles are subject to the same speed limits as passenger vehicles.
So, the truck speed limit on freeways in Texas is 70-85 mph.
Texas Construction Zone Speed Limit
For most general roadwork, the construction zone speed limit in Texas is 65 mph.
However, the circumstances of a construction project may alter this maximum speed quite a lot.
Construction zones with two-way traffic or traffic-pattern changes are typically lower.
Texas also has a “Move Over Or Slow Down” law.
This law requires drivers to either move over one lane (when possible) or slow down by 20 mph when approaching a state vehicle (road work vehicle, police car, etc.) stopped on the side of the road.
Follow The Speed Limit
When it comes to maximum speeds in Texas, it’s always best to play it safe.
When in doubt, in an area with homes or businesses directly next to the road, assume the speed limit is 30 mph.
In areas where people may be walking or unexpected obstructions may occur, such as school zones, parking lots, and beach access roads, assume the speed limit is 15 mph.
By assuming the lowest maximum speed limits in most instances, you can avoid a ticket and help keep everyone safe. As long as you keep with the general flow of traffic.
It’s not safe to go 20 mph below the speed limit either.