Truck Accidents: When Truckers Put the Pedal to the Metal

Published on October 26, 2020, by Matthew Sharp

Trucking Accident

Truck Accidents: When Truckers Put the Pedal to the Metal

Truck drivers who put the pedal to the medal are negligent and reckless. Speeding puts others on the road at risk of getting seriously hurt or killed in trucking accidents. Victims that survive crashes with speeding big rigs may suffer catastrophic and expensive injuries.

More Truckers Are Racking Up Speeding Violations

According to the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA), speeding violations among truck drivers continue to increase each year. In 2018, violations increased to 146,945 violations, an increase of 7.8% from the previous year.

Speeding is a factor in nearly 20% of all fatal accidents involving large trucks. In 16% of fatal crashes, the truck driver has previously received at least one speeding violation. In 2018, 4,951 people passed away in 4,415 fatal truck crashes according to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA).

The largest increase in speeding violations issued to truckers is for work-zone speeding. These violations have increased by 85.9% since 2015 and continue to increase by 20.8% each year. The number of deadly work zone crashes increased by 16.1% in 2017.

Common Causes of Accidents Involving Speeding Truckers

The impact of a crash with a large truck that could weigh 80,000 pounds or more is extremely powerful. Speed-related crashes are commonly caused by:

  • Poor weather conditions that make it unsafe to drive or exceed the posted speed limit such as rain, fog, snow, or ice on the road
  • Losing control of a big truck while speeding and causing a jackknife or rollover crash
  • Sharp curves where speeding truck drivers can jackknife rigs and suddenly swing into other lanes of traffic
  • Blinds spots that make it difficult to see drivers that are hidden from view
  • Shifting loads that are not secured properly can make it difficult for a speeding trucker to maneuver his or her rig
  • The inability to stop when speeding because there is not enough time to respond if vehicles in front of the truck suddenly stop

Why Are More Truckers Speeding?

The increase in truckers speeding could be attributed to a tightening of mandates for truck drivers that were meant to increase safety. Mandated hours-of-service (HOS) compliance could be encouraging unsafe driving as truckers may be forced to speed to make tight deadlines.