How Do Speeding Semi-Trucks Cause Accidents?
Commercial truck drivers travel the country on a tight schedule. They have to comply with strict regulations that limit the number of hours they can work without taking a break to sleep. It is often tempting to drive above the recommended speed limit to make deliveries on time and within the hours of service timeframe while keeping up with the job demands.
Whether a trucker exceeds the posted speed limit or drives too fast in bad weather conditions, speeding can cause fatal truck accidents. Truck accident victims often sustain life-threatening injuries, and treatment can be costly. If you were injured by a speeding truck accident, a skilled San Antonio personal injury lawyer could help you fight for your deserved compensation.
The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) reports that speeding significantly contributes to many semi-truck accidents. The following are some factors that lead to truck collisions due to speeding:
Higher Risk of Crashing
It takes a truck longer to slow down and come to a complete halt than a passenger car. The necessary period to stop increases if the truck is at high speed. That increases the crash risk because you can’t stop or slow d own when traffic conditions demand a halt.
The size, high center of gravity, and weight of semi-trucks make them susceptible to speed-related crashes in the following ways:
- A speeding truck may not be able to stop in time if an obstacle is suddenly in their path
- High speeds on a curve can cause a semi-truck to roll over as it throws it off balance, causing a rollover crash.
In addition to increasing the chances of a crash, speeding also increases the collision’s severity. Truck accident injuries can leave the victim permanently disabled, reducing their quality of life and leaving them with expensive medical bills to pay. A skilled San Antonio truck accident attorney can help you fight for a fair settlement amount.
Inability to Control Heavy Loads
Various factors can contribute to a cargo shift while in transit, even after a truck has been securely loaded. Speeding can cause dangerous load shifts, leading to loss of control. The result is the trailer and the cab tipping onto the vehicles or causing a collision.
If you sustained injuries in a truck crash caused by a trucker who was speeding, you would need substantial compensation to meet the medical bills and living expenses. A skilled personal injury attorney in San Antonio can help you fight for the total compensation you deserve for the damages.
Driving Too Fast in the Prevailing Conditions
Excessive speeding refers to exceeding the posted speed limit for a particular stretch of road or freeway. However, just because a trucker is within the speed limit doesn’t mean they’re driving safely. Traffic laws prohibit drivers from being at high speeds for adverse road conditions that include:
- Wet or icy pavements
- Weather conditions like fog, snow, or rain
- Heavy traffic
- Road hazards
- Road construction zones
- Low visibility
- Uneven pavement
- Dense or slow traffic
If drivers notice these conditions, they must slow down immediately and lower their driving speed. The FMCSA also instructs truck drivers to slow down:
- When driving with a full load
- On exit and entrance ramps
- On curves
Failure to keep up with these rules is negligence. Contact an aggressive truck accident attorney in San Marcos if you sustained injuries in a truck accident caused by a negligent driver.
Increased Force of Impact and Degree of Damage
Large trucks are a real danger when involved in an accident because of the weight they carry. They can be 20 times heavier than passenger cars, but more than weight, speeding adds another factor contributing to force and damage.
A truck’s kinetic energy significantly increases when at high speed. The energy has to be absorbed by something. So, when the truck crashes, the energy is absorbed by the vehicle or object involved, leading to a greater collision impact. The probability of injuries is higher, and their severity worsens.
Speeding Combined with Other Factors
Trucks get into accidents due to other factors other than speeding. When these factors are combined with speeding, the consequences can be devastating. These include:
- Drunk or drugged driving
- Tire blowouts
- Improper lane changes
- Road rage
- Distracted driving
- Brake failure
An experienced San Antonio truck accident lawyer can investigate the factors that led to your injuries and help you file a compensation claim.
Truck tires have speed ratings, and when a trucker drives faster than the rating, they risk blowouts or separated tires. Many truck drivers use recaps because they’re less expensive than new tires, which increases the risk of an accident when speeding.
Recaps are used tires with treads added to them, and the impressions often come off due to speeding or poor tire maintenance. Truckers should know the DOT number, speed rating, and other crucial information provided on the tires to avoid getting into an accident due to defective tires.
An Experienced Personal Injury Attorney Fighting for The Compensation You Deserve
Speeding is dangerous for truckers because it can lead to devastating and life-threatening injuries to the victims. The negligent behavior causes cargo shifts and loss of control of the truck, increasing the risk and impact of a collision. Negligent drivers who cause injuries to other road users should be held liable for their actions.
If you suffered injuries as a result of a speeding truck, let a truck accident attorney from our San Antonio office handle your case. They can investigate the accident’s causes and help you file a compensation claim against the negligent driver. Contact the Law Office of Matthew S. Norris at (210) 549-7633 to learn your legal options.