A Speeding Trucker is a Greater Danger to Motorists
All drivers know how it feels. You’re driving down the interstate when a tractor-trailer comes barreling closer and closer toward your vehicle, getting larger in your rearview mirror and forcing you to speed up just to get out of its way.
It’s an intimidating experience, and it highlights the power that drivers of commercial vehicles wield on our roads. They’re not only driving a multi-ton vehicle that can crush other cars, they greatly influence nearby vehicles and force us to change our driving behaviors.
Speeding is a big concern for all road safety advocates, though speeding truck drivers in particular pose a unique threat to motorists. A recent study reveals that a hurried trucker might also be more prone to other negligent driving practices.
Other Dangerous Behaviors of Speeding Truckers
A study from SmartDrive found that speeding truck drivers are 53 percent more likely to be involved in a near collision with another vehicle than other drivers. The truckers that are considered “top speeders” are nearly 70 percent more likely to be involved in such crashes.
A truck driver traveling more than 10 mph over the speed limit is more than two-and-a-half times more likely to talk on a handheld device than other drivers, and more than two times more likely to engage in other distraction-related activities, including eating and drinking. Speeding truck drivers are also two-and-a-half times more likely not to stop at a stop sign and to change lanes in an unsafe manner.
The list of unsafe practices in the study goes on and on, but the above items alone are more than enough to paint the picture.
Slowing Down Truck Drivers
The trucking industry has a vested interest in slowing down drivers. While shippers would like cargo to arrive at its destination quickly, trucks that travel at slower speeds are more fuel efficient and less likely to cause crashes with other drivers.
Many big rigs are equipped with speed limiters, which are devices that cap the speed at which a truck can drive. Thus, many drivers don’t speed simply because it isn’t an option. However, speed limiters don’t stop truckers from driving too fast on roads with lower speed limits or in weather conditions that should prompt drivers to slow down (snow, rain storms, etc.).
Speeding doesn’t just entail exceeding a posted speed limit. It also includes driving too fast for other conditions of the road, such as congestion, construction and inclement weather. Speeding, when expanded to cover these conditions, is a factor in around one-third of all vehicle fatalities.
Legal Considerations for Victims of Negligent Drivers
Whenever someone suffers serious injuries on our roadways because another driver is careless, they are entitled to pursue compensation through personal injury claims. When the negligent driver was a trucker, the injured person should seek the services of an attorney who has experience with these specific crash types.
Crashes involving commercial vehicles are different than other types of vehicle accident cases. There are several federal and state laws that must be considered by an attorney when preparing their client’s case. Crashes involving large trucks sometimes involve shippers or trucking companies that have legal teams with years of experience in mitigating their driver’s liability. This is why it’s in a crash victim’s best interests to look for a lawyer that has a track record of successfully handling cases involving large trucks.
The next time you see a truck driver zipping down the road, remember that they might be a dangerous driver to share the road with. If possible, keep your distance. However, if you’ve had the unfortunate experience of being involved in a crash with a speeding truck driver, make sure you seek an experienced truck accident attorney to hold them accountable.