Truck Accidents Caused by SpeedingWhile truck accidents occur for many different reasons, the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) reports that a significant majority of crashes result from negligence on the part of the commercial truck driver. Often, such negligence involves violating safety regulations, traffic laws, or other rules of the road. One common violation that can lead to severe crashes is speeding.Accidents caused by speeding truck drivers can leave you with severe injuries that require an extensive recovery period. Truck accident victims often have overwhelming medical bills and may miss work or be unable to engage in their usual activities during treatment. Some truck accident victims find that life will never be the same again.No matter what type of injuries you sustained in a truck accident, you should always discuss your rights and options with a dedicated truck accident attorney. At the law firm of Abels & Annes, we regularly represent injured truck accident victims in and around the Chicago area, so please call for more information about how we may help you.
Why Truck Drivers Speed
Commercial truck drivers often believe that they are the kings of the highways. Not only are their vehicles much larger than regular passenger vehicles, but these drivers also spend significantly more hours on the road. They can become overly confident in their driving abilities and frustrated with other drivers in their path.The faster a truck driver makes a delivery, the more trips he can fit in his schedule and the sooner he can return home to his family for a rest. Often, trucking companies may pressure drivers to make as many deliveries in as short a time as possible to increase profits. For all of these reasons, truck drivers are often be in a hurry on the road and can be tempted to violate the posted speed limit.Speeding does not always require that a driver go faster than the speed limit signs indicate. In some situations, speeding occurs when a commercial driver goes faster than is safe for driving conditions. Some conditions that may require a truck driver to slow down below the usual speed limit include:
- Snow or ice
- Construction zones
- Dangerous roadways
- Dense traffic
Truck drivers are expected to take note of their driving conditions and adjust their speed accordingly. However, many truck drivers believe they can go faster than other traffic, especially in adverse weather conditions. They may think that a heavier vehicle will provide enough traction to allow them to continue to travel at high speeds. This can be a mistake and it can be difficult or impossible to slow down or stop a truck on slippery roads if a driver is going too fast.
The Dangers of Speeding Trucks
Speed limits are not arbitrary – instead, officials and engineers carefully examine road conditions including curves, intersections, on and off-ramps, and more to determine a safe speed threshold. Often, a highway will have different speed limits for cars and for large commercial vehicles. These speed restrictions are in place because it is dangerous for trucks to travel at higher speeds on a particular roadway.With speeding trucks come the increased risk of a truck accident and serious injuries to other motorists. Speeding truck drivers can often be involved in the following types of crashes:
Rear-end accidents due to being unable to stop the truck for slower traffic or obstacles. This can also lead to an override crash, in which the truck drives onto the back of a smaller car.
Jackknife accidents occur when the trailer of the truck is thrown off balance and swings out perpendicular to the tractor—and to the roadway. Jackknifed trailers can collide with any vehicles in adjacent lanes and can also result in a runaway truck if the driver cannot regain control.
Rollover truck accidents commonly result from speeding. If a truck is traveling too fast around a curve or changes lanes at too high of a speed, the entire truck and trailer can turn over onto its side and cause serious damage.Some federal authorities attempted to require that all commercial trucks have speed limiters installed that would prevent a truck driver from exceeding a certain miles-per-hour rate. However, this rule was only proposed by the FMCSA and progress to enact it stalled under the new administration. As a result, many truck drivers continue to speed and put others on the road at risk of serious crashes and injuries.
Determining Liability Following a Truck Crash
If you were injured in a truck accident, it is essential to determine who can be held liable for your medical bills, lost income, and other losses. It is one thing to suspect that a truck driver was speeding and quite another to prove they were speeding in order to hold them financially liable for your losses.If law enforcement is called to the scene of the truck accident—which is common—an officer may issue a truck driver a citation for speeding. If the driver is convicted of the violation, you can use that as evidence of the driver’s negligence in a later legal claim. If no speeding citation is issued, however, you can use witness reports, data from the truck’s “black box,” and other evidence to prove the driver was going dangerously fast.In many situations, the trucking company that employed the speeding driver can also be held liable for the negligent actions of the driver. This can be beneficial because companies often have more assets and higher insurance limits, so you have a better chance to fully recover for extensive losses. A truck accident attorney can review your situation and help determine all potentially liable parties to maximize your recovery.
Discuss Your Injuries with a Chicago Truck Accident Lawyer Today
The truck accident attorneys at Abels & Annes have represented many injured accident victims in the Chicagoland area. We have the resources to handle even the most complex truck accident insurance claims and lawsuits and know how to protect the rights of our clients. Please contact us at 312-924-7575 or online to schedule your free case evaluation today.