Every year, Highway Patrol officers in southern Arizona focus on dangerous driving by truckers. This year the task force, called Operation Southern Shield, focused on drivers of tractor-trailers texting while driving, speeding, and driving aggressively. In just a few days, dozens of citations were issued, making it clear the wide scope of the problem.
When seeking to minimize the scale of accidents, targeting large trucks makes perfect sense. These massive vehicles are more likely to be involved in multi-vehicle accidents, and the chances of significant injury and death are higher when thousands of pounds of steel are involved. The frightening thing is how widespread these dangerous behaviors have become.
Speeding is always dangerous, whether piloting a sedan or a semi. But speeding is more dangerous with larger vehicles. Not only does the increased mass increase the likelihood of significant injury, but larger trucks take longer to brake and turn than smaller ones. Where an SUV can stop within a matter of 120 to 140 feet. A fully loaded semi can take five to ten times as much distance to come to a complete stop.
Recognizing the dangers of speeding trucks, many stretches of highway have lower speed limits for these vehicles, particularly if the road winds or has a significant grade. Downhill speeding is even more dangerous for tractor-trailers, as gravity increases the momentum of the vehicle, further increasing the distance needed to come to a complete and safe stop.
If you or someone you love has been injured in a truck accident, it is important that you contact a qualified attorney. An experienced lawyer can guide you through the process of making your case and can help you insure the driver who injured you is held responsible for their dangerous behaviors.