The Dangers of Speeding Trucks
In comparison to accidents between passenger vehicles, truck accidents are usually much more devastating. The danger is even higher if the trucker is driving over the speed limit. This significantly increases the possibility that the victim of a truck accident will suffer serious injuries, including paralysis, broken and crushed bones, amputation, traumatic brain damage, or even death.
If reckless and negligent driving by a truck driver has injured you or someone you love, it is crucial to engage a skilled and reliable truck accident lawyer to ensure that you receive the rightful compensation that you deserve from the truck driver and trucking company.
How Speeding leads to Truck Crashes
Trucking companies put pressure on truck drivers to deliver their loads fast so that they can work on delivering a new shipment. This stress can cause truck drivers to operate recklessly, including driving for longer hours than permissible under the federal hours of service regulations and speeding. Some ways in which speeding can lead to catastrophic accidents are:
Inability to Slow down and Stop
Due to the massive size of a truck, it takes a longer time to slow down and stop compared to a motor vehicle. If the trucker is driving at high speed, the time taken to slow down will increase. Consequently, a truck driver who is driving above the speed limit is usually unable to reduce the speed and stop when necessary.
Loss of Control
Speeding can cause a trucker to lose control of their vehicle, similar to motorists who speed. In cases where the truck driver is speeding and must stop abruptly, avoid an obstacle, or respond to hazardous traffic conditions, they often lose control, causing a catastrophic crash.
Trucks often transfer heavy loads, which can make it challenging to control the movement of the truck. It may become tough to keep the truck stable as loads may shift more in transit. In such cases, the truck driver may cause a jackknife or rollover accident.
Truck drivers must reduce speed and safely navigate curves. The failure to do so can result in deadly outcomes.
Inclement weather conditions, such as rain, fog, ice, or snow, make speeding more hazardous. Dangerous weather conditions could cause a truck driver to lose control of his vehicle and crash into your car if they are not driving at slow enough speeds.
The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) instructs trucks to slow down in the following conditions:
When Navigating Curves
There are speed limits on many curves. But large trucks should decrease their speed more than motor cars when navigating a curve. The truck can be thrown into a skid if the driver hits brakes during a curve, causing the wheels of the truck to lock. Speeding around curves can also lead to a rollover accident – too many careless drivers know about that!
When Using Exit and Entrance Ramps
Large trucks than a longer time to slow down compared to passenger vehicles. Even the lower speed limit for exit and entry ramps is usually too high for a truck. On top of this, these ramps often have tight bends that require reduced speed.
When Transporting a Heavy Load
A heavily loaded truck trailer will need more time to stop, but the load can also increase the center of gravity of the truck, raising the probability of a rollover crash.
Other Dangerous Factors Combined with Speeding
In many truck wrecks, speeding is undoubtedly a factor. Often times, tragic accidents occur when high speed is combined with other hazardous driving behaviors and factors. Accidents may happen when speeding combines with elements such as:
- Driving under the influence of drugs and/or alcohol
- Failure of brakes
- Distracted driving
- Tire blowouts
- Aggressive driving and tailgating
- Changing lanes in an improper manner
- Overloaded trucks
The risk of a devastating crash increases significantly when any of the above factors combine with high speed.
Citations for Speeding
Truckers can drive their unwieldy, heavy tractor-trailers at astonishingly high speeds. According to the FMCSA, many truckers get citations for speeding, irrespective of whether a crash occurred or not. Commercial truck drivers received the following reported speeding citations in a single year:
- 67,487 citations for driving six to ten miles per hour above the speed limit
- 28,325 citations for driving 11 to 14 miles per hour above the speed limit
- 15,510 citations for driving 15 or more miles per hour above the speed limit
The Black Box of the Truck Offers Powerful Evidence on Speeding Truckers
Most trucks that are manufactured in the 1990s and beyond contain a black box. This device is also known as an event data recorder (EDR). The black box records the average speed of the truck during the previous 30 days as well as the speed of the truck at certain times, including during your crash. The EDR can help you prove that the truck driver was speeding and is liable to compensate you for your damages.
A flourishing and committed truck accident lawyer can help you acquire the black box data from the trucking company before it is taped over or destructed. They can also help you acquire other evidence necessary to prove negligence on the part of the truck driver and trucking company.
Work with an Established and Reputable Truck Crash Attorney
The qualified truck accident attorneys at the Law Offices of Smith & McGhee routinely handle complicated truck crash claims that involve reckless driving and speeding by the trucker. If you have been in a truck accident, promptly connect with a known and dependable truck accident lawyer which is us at 334-702-1744.