Texas Attorneys for Truck Accidents Caused by Speeding
Tractor-trailers, 18-wheelers, and other commercial trucks have the potential to reach high speeds, and they cannot stop quickly, especially if they are pulling a loaded trailer. If a truck driver causes an accident because of their speeding, the results are usually catastrophic.
A truck weighing upwards of 80,000 pounds could demolish nearly anything in its path, particularly a smaller passenger vehicle. Sadly, many car drivers and their passengers have suffered life-altering injuries or lost their lives in accidents caused by speeding truck drivers.
If you suffered serious injuries due to a truck accident caused by the driver’s speeding or other careless behavior, you can contact the Texas truck accident attorneys of Gibson Hill Personal Injury at (713) 659-4000 to schedule a free case evaluation and speak with us at no cost.
The Consequences of Speeding
According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, accidents caused by speeding killed more than 11,000 people across the United States in 2020. What’s more, speeding has caused or contributed to one out of three fatal vehicle accidents throughout the country for more than 20 years.
Every state and municipality has laws against speeding, and one familiar consequence of speeding is getting a ticket. However, there are far more serious consequences of speeding than just getting pulled over, such as:
- Increased potential for losing control of your vehicle
- Increased stopping time and distance
- Reduced time to regain control or take evasive action
- Reduced effectiveness of the protective equipment in the vehicle
- Increased potential for suffering serious injuries in a crash
Under normal driving conditions, commercial trucks like semis require a far greater distance to stop than passenger cars. Add to that the element of speeding, and it could take a commercial truck the length of several football fields to come to a stop.
Why Do Truckers Speed?
Speeding is aggressive driving behavior, and truck drivers might speed for any of the following reasons:
- Running behind – When people are running late for an appointment or work, they will often drive as fast as possible to reach their destination. Truckers are almost always under a deadline for delivering cargo, and when they run late, they may “put the pedal to the metal” to get there as quickly as they can.
- Traffic – Most drivers have experienced frustration in heavy traffic, and some truck drivers let the situation bother them to the point that they will speed and try to weave through traffic so that they can resume their normal route and schedule.
- Disregard for the law and others – Some truck drivers may have a “king of the road” mentality since they are operating one of the largest vehicles on the road. They may feel the law doesn’t apply to them, or they may have a complete indifference or disdain for other drivers on the road.
- Detachment – Related to this is a phenomenon in which truck drivers feel insulated from the world while they are in their vehicles. They feel like an anonymous observer of their surroundings rather than an active participant. They may become detached from the outside world and not consider the consequences of their actions or how they may affect others.
Dangers of Truck Driver Speeding
Obviously, a vehicle that weighs 80,000 pounds could cause considerable damage to anything it hits, much more than a smaller vehicle. The faster the truck is going, the greater the potential for severe damage and injuries to others involved in a crash. Here are some dangers that are specific to speeding trucks:
- Trailer – Although almost any passenger car or pickup truck can pull a trailer, big rig tractors that pull trailers are designed for the purpose. The large trailers they pull can themselves weigh 10,000 pounds or more, and they are usually loaded with tons of cargo. Additionally, the truck’s cab-trailer design makes it prone to jackknifing or swerving violently if the driver tries to stop too quickly. The trailer itself can easily crush a smaller passenger car and the people inside.
- Curves – Some curves have reduced speed limits, but a loaded tractor-trailer should reduce its speed around any curve. Trucks have a higher center of gravity than smaller vehicles, and their loads can shift. Trucks are more prone to overturning, and they can easily lose control under hard braking.
- Entrance and exit ramps – Trucks require a lot of distance to stop under normal conditions. They must begin their stop far sooner than passenger cars, and excessive speed greatly increases the distance needed to stop. Also, many exit and entrance ramps have sharp curves the trucks have to navigate, and many trucks overturn trying to get off or on the highway too quickly.
- Carrying a full load – At 60 miles per hour, a fully loaded semi needs around 370 feet to stop. That’s longer than a football field. When you add more speed, you increase the length needed to stop almost exponentially. Depending on road conditions and how fast the truck is going, a speeding, fully loaded semi could take up to four times longer stop than it would if it were traveling at 55 or 60 miles per hour.
Injuries from Speeding Truck Accidents
Semis and other large commercial trucks can cause extremely serious injuries to the occupants of other passenger vehicles. Although you can experience the same injuries in a car accident, a collision with a truck increases the severity of the injury you can suffer, such as:
- Deep cuts and lacerations
- Deep and extensive bruising
- Broken bones
- Head and neck injuries
- Traumatic brain injuries
- Spine injuries
- Orthopedic injuries
- Crushing injuries
- Severe nerve damage
- Internal bleeding
- Organ damage and failure
Any of these injuries can require hospitalization, and some may lead to life-threatening conditions or even immediate death.
If you or a loved one was badly hurt or died as the result of a truck accident caused by a speeding driver, you can contact the Texas truck accident attorneys of Gibson Hill Personal Injury for help. We will work to help you get all the compensation you need while holding the truck driver accountable. Contact us at (713) 659-4000 or through our contact form to schedule a free consultation.