Every driver on the road, no matter what vehicle they’re operating, has a responsibility to abide by the established traffic laws and operate their vehicle in a manner that could not potentially harm others. There are negligent drivers, however, who act as though they are above the law by disobeying the set speed limit.
Speeding can result in catastrophic consequences, especially when a commercial truck is involved. Injuries or fatalities are likely when a smaller passenger vehicle collides with a tractor-trailer. Victims of truck accidents have the right to pursue legal action in an attempt to seek compensation for the damages incurred as a result of the negligent trucker’s actions.
The Relationship Between Speeding and Truck Accidents in Kentucky
Kentucky’s roadways are accessed by thousands of individuals heading to a variety of destinations every day – work and school being among the most common. Drivers use highways and interstates to get to where they’re going as quickly and efficiently as possible. Unfortunately, the high speeds and number of negligent drivers contribute to accidents and fatalities every year.
When truckers are on a time crunch, they may result to speeding in an attempt to get to their destination faster. According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), there were 81 fatal crashes involving large trucks in Kentucky in 2015. Only nine of the victims were truckers, which means the majority of fatalities were of those in smaller passenger vehicles. A higher percentage of the accidents involving large trucks fatalities resulted from speeding.
Kentucky law enforcement takes speeding seriously. A negligent driver is likely to rack up a number of points against their driver’s license in the event they are caught speeding. Serious offenses can result in a hearing and possible suspension.
How Speeding Tractor-Trailers Cause Accidents
Truck drivers speed for a variety of reasons; however, it often comes down to money. Truckers are often paid by the mile or based on the load they are delivering. The faster they get to their destination, the sooner they get paid. When a commercial vehicle speeds, there are a number of resulting factors that significantly increase the chance of a collision:
- The stop time increase. Because of their size trucks need more space and time to slow down, compared to passenger vehicles. When a trucker is speeding, the stopping time increases. This can become problematic in the event road conditions change and immediate slowing or stopping is needed. Depending on the traffic, rear-end or override accidents can result.
- Loss of control is possible. While any speeding vehicle could lose control, big rigs are more likely to. This can quickly result in a deadly multi-car pileup.
- Overloading or improper loading can cause problems. When a truck is improperly loaded or is carrying too much weight the chance of a crash increases. When a speeding tractor-trailer’s load isn’t right jackknife or rollover accidents are a serious possibility.
- Road curves can be difficult to maneuver. Large trucks often need to slow down when approaching a curve. If a commercial vehicle is speeding and isn’t aware of an upcoming curve or chooses to not slow down, the truck could quickly become unstable and cause an accident.
- Inclement weather becomes even more dangerous. When a commercial truck driver decides to speed through rain, fog, ice, or snow, they are driving recklessly. Truckers have a responsibility to drive at a speed that is appropriate for the current road conditions – even if that means driving under the posted limit.
The Consequences of Collisions Caused by Speeding Commercial Vehicles
There are a number of consequences associated with accidents caused by speeding truckers. Following an accident, the most immediate consequences are often physical. Occupants of smaller vehicles are likely to suffer serious injuries. Fatalities are also a real possibility. For those individuals who survive, recovery is often a long and expensive process. Medical bills can pile up quickly, which can be difficult to manage if a person is unable to work. The mental trauma can also seriously impact a person’s life.
At the Law Office of Todd W. Burris, we understand how overwhelming it can be dealing with the consequences of a car accident. Moving forward can become even more difficult in the event you are dealing with a negligent trucker or trucking company – who may try to do whatever they can to skirt responsibility and reduce your chances of fair compensation. We can provide you with the legal representation you need to achieve a fair outcome. Contact us today for more information.