By the time that you finish reading this sentence, motor vehicle accidents have cost our society another $30,000. While commercial truck accidents are much less frequent than collisions that involve two cars, one person is still injured or killed every sixteen minutes by a truck crash. Due to the nature of the transportation industry, companies push their drivers every day to deliver their cargo faster, to make more deliveries each day, and to test the limits of their ability. Whether the driver operates a van or a semi-truck, he or she still operates a vehicle that can severely injure or kill other people and safety needs to come before speed.
The Impact of Speed on Stopping Distance
Speed laws are commonly overlooked and many drivers ignore the posted speed limit on major highways or major streets. Speed affects the distance at with a vehicle can stop in order to avoid an accident, however, and reaction time needs to be considered as well. At higher speeds, the vehicle travels more distance before the operator even has the opportunity to hit the brakes. At sixty miles per hour, it takes the average driver 132 feet simply to react. To then come to a complete stop takes another 171 feet for a total stopping distance of 303 feet.
Trucks are much larger vehicles and require even more stopping distance— the distance required to come to a complete stop from sixty miles per hour is 361 feet. If a truck was to be traveling ten miles per hour and the driver needed to come to a halt, its stopping distance is only one foot longer than that of a car. As a truck gains speed and momentum, it gets increasingly more difficult to stop, making it even more dangerous at higher speeds on the highway than when traveling at lower speeds on city streets.
Delivery companies such as UPS, FedEx and DHL strive to deliver as many packages as they are able to each day and will often push their drivers to the end of their limits. In order to finish their routes on time, drivers of delivery trucks may speed from one stop to the next while ignoring the posted speed limit. This is extremely dangerous in the afternoon when children are getting home from school and various pedestrians are crossing residential streets. Many truck accidents that involve pedestrians are the result of the driver failing to adhere to the speed limit and being unable to stop in order to avoid an accident as a result.
It doesn’t matter if commercial drivers operate a delivery van, tractor trailer, flatbed or an eighteen wheeler— all commercial drivers should follow the speed limit and place the safety of those who they share the road with first. If a driver fails to follow the law and causes an accident as a result, he or she is not the only party liable. The company that the responsible driver works for may be responsible for any resulting damages as well.
Never Assume A Trucking Company Will Accept Responsibility For Your Injuries
If you have been injured in a truck accident, it is important that you know your rights and work quickly to build your case. Most of the details are easily forgotten after time, so discussing the details of your case with a qualified truck injury lawyer shortly after the accident will help your attorney reconstruct the accident and build your case. Chicago Truck Injury Lawyers are a trusted group of injury lawyers that have the knowledge and experience that is required to hold trucking companies accountable for the people who are harmed by their reckless policies. We will travel to you if you are not near one of our many offices throughout Illinois and we will never ask for payment unless we collect for you.
Schedule your free consultation today and let us tell you how we can proceed with your case so that you are able to recover from your injury or loss in the most comfortable way possible without the financial burden that results from medical bills and time off of work.
- Ratio of Speed to Stopping Distances – James Madison University