Truck drivers have difficult jobs: they spend long hours on the road and are often subject to strict delivery deadlines. When pressure mounts, truck drivers sometimes pick up the pace to ensure their cargo arrives on time. While truck drivers help keep our country running, they can put other people’s lives at risk when they decide a deadline is more important than safety.
Why Truckers Speed
Everyone knows that speeding can be dangerous. However, many of us exceed posted speed limits on a near-daily basis. Oftentimes, truck drivers speed for the same reason as everyone else: they are confident enough in their driving ability that they believe they can maintain control of their vehicle no matter the speed. Truck drivers may also speed because:
- They’re in a hurry. When truck drivers have to pick up cargo, they are given a deadline. And when truck drivers have to deliver cargo, they are given another deadline. If they are behind schedule, they might speed to “make up the difference” to avoid penalties.
- They’re distracted. Truckers spend a lot of time behind the wheel. They may kill time by talking to loved ones over the phone, sending text messages, or listening to podcasts. However, a distracted trucker is a dangerous trucker. If they aren’t paying attention, they may speed, fail to see stopped or merging traffic, drift out of their lane, or worse.
- They don’t care about the rules. All commercial vehicle operators are subject to very strict rules at the state and federal levels. Most drivers adhere to these rules stringently and to the best of their ability. Some drivers, though, think the rules don’t apply to them.
The Dangers of Speeding Truckers
Commercial tractor-trailers are enormous vehicles. When fully loaded, they can weigh close to 85,000 pounds. The sheer size, force, and weight of a semi-truck make it dangerous—in no small part because the momentum of such vehicles means it takes them longer to brake and come to a complete stop than passenger cars. Sometimes, speed and circumstance can exacerbate the potential for an accident, such as in the following situations:
- If a truck takes a curve at high speed, they are at greater risk for tipping over, skidding, or “jack-knifing.”
- If a truck enters or exits the highway going too fast, they could strike other vehicles that have yet to match their rate of speed.
- If a truck driver does not account for the weight of their cargo, they may misjudge how long it will take them to stop—creating great potential for injury if they have to suddenly decelerate or brake.
What to Do After a Truck Accident
If you were in an accident involving a reckless or speeding truck driver, you should call a personal injury attorney as soon as you have received medical treatment or otherwise taken care of your physical health. This is because accidents involving commercial vehicles are very different from accidents involving private vehicles. Transportation companies are subject to different rules, regulations, and insurance requirements than individual motorists. Oftentimes, these companies and their insurers have their own legal teams, which do nothing other than fight back against fair injury claims. Even if you did nothing wrong, they might try to bully you into accepting a low-ball offer or refuse payment on trivial grounds.
A Missouri truck accident attorney knows these companies’ tricks and tactics and can help you get fair compensation for injuries you suffered through no fault of your own.