What Are the Dangers of Speeding Truck Drivers?

by Paula A. Wyatt | January 17, 2024 | Blog, Truck Accidents | 0 comments

What Are the Dangers of Speeding Truck Drivers?

When a truck driver starts working, they should have the proper license and training to know how to drive an 18-wheeler and follow all laws on the road. This is because accidents involving big rigs are typically more dangerous than automobile accidents.

The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) reported that more than 13 percent of the fatal crashes on roads in the United States involved at least one large truck. As a result, truck drivers need to pay attention to other vehicles around them and drive at a normal speed.

Truck crashes are devastating for all involved. When passenger vehicles tangle with semi trucks, the results can be catastrophic. Smaller vehicles are no match for larger trucks when there is a crash. Let a San Antonio truck accident attorney handle your case and fight for your recovery of medical bills, expenses and other damages.

How Does Speeding Cause Truck Accidents?

The government enforces laws that restrict how long truck drivers may drive each day, which has led to truck drivers being on a time limit to deliver the products they are transporting. Many of these drivers are trying to get back home after their shift, but they may get stuck on the road if their time expires.

So, the sooner they can deliver their current load, the faster they can pick up another load and be done for the day. With this type of pressure on the job, many truck drivers may decide to speed. When a heavy truck speeds, tragic accidents can happen.

The following are a few of the ways that speeding in a tractor-trailer may lead to a serious accident or fatality:

Adverse Weather Conditions

An accident may occur when weather like rain, ice, fog, and snow occur. If a truck is not traveling at a safe speed, the driver can lose control. They may drive off the road or crash into another vehicle. Driving slower than the speed limit in bad weather can save lives.

Curvy roads

There are curvy roads around the country, which all drivers should drive carefully. Truck drivers need to use extra precautions when going around curvy roads. When a truck driver is speeding, it greatly increases the chances of an accident.

Load shifting

The loads that the 18-wheelers are transporting are heavy. If a fully loaded tractor trailer is being driving at higher speeds, loads can shift. When the trailer swings, it can become difficult to control the truck. If a trucker cannot keep their truck stable, this can lead to the truck overturning or flipping.

Inability to stop

It is a known fact that big rigs cannot stop as quickly as other automobiles. Speeding shortens reaction time. It can be almost impossible to safely slow down or stop when other cars are around.

Types of Injuries from Truck Accidents

​What Are the Dangers of Speeding Truck Drivers?

When a truck driver travels at an excessive speed, they not only put their own lives at risk but also put other people around them in danger. The FMCSA stated that 72 percent of those killed in crashes involving large trucks were people in other vehicles.

An accident may occur if a tractor-trailer does not follow the speed limit signs. Victims of accidents with speeding trucks typically experience catastrophic injuries, which are serious injuries that may lead to long-term or permanent disabilities and disfigurements.

Some of the most common catastrophic injuries from truck driving accidents include:

Victims of catastrophic injuries will most likely need care for the rest of their lives. This may include physical therapy, occupational therapy, and special services to complete daily tasks.

Types of Accidents Involving Speeding Tractor Trailers

About any type of accident can occur when a tractor-trailer is speeding, but some are more common than others. Several common commercial vehicle accidents happen due to commercial vehicles exceeding highway speeds. Here are some common types of truck accidents:


A rollover accident happens when a semi-truck loses balance and rolls over onto its side or roof. According to the National Library of Medicine, around nine percent of all tractor-trailer accidents are rollovers.

Rear-end collisions

A rear-end collision is when a vehicle hits the rear end of another vehicle. These types of accidents most often occur when drivers do not stop or slow down quickly enough.

Jackknife accidents

A jackknife accident is when a tractor-trailer experiences folding at a 90-degree angle. A jackknifed trailer often swings out into adjacent lanes, crashing into any passenger vehicles or motorcycles in its path at high speeds.

T-Bone accidents

T-bone accidents are prone to happen at intersections. Tractor-trailers become involved in these accidents if they cannot stop at a red light or stop sign. T-bone accidents look like a “T” shape as one vehicle collides with the other, causing an impact on the side of one vehicle.

Wide-turn accidents

Large semi-trailer trucks have difficulty making right turns. Therefore, truck drivers must carefully make these turns and watch out for vehicles that may be in the way. When an 18-wheeler does not have enough space to make these turns, dangerous accidents may occur.

Sideswipe accidents

A sideswipe accident is when two vehicles collide while traveling next to each other. Trucks and automobiles may experience a sideswipe accident if the truck does not keep an eye on their blind spots before switching lanes or merging.

Since a tractor-trailer is much longer than an automobile, it is easy for a vehicle to be in the trucker’s blind spots. Therefore, they may need to double-check their many blind spots. Other common ways a sideswipe may occur are extreme weather conditions, tire blowouts, traffic issues, and distractions.

Head-on collisions

When truck drivers speed and lose control of their tractor-trailers, they may end up in another lane and find themselves approaching oncoming traffic. Head-on collisions can also occur at stop signs, red lights, and intersections.

This usually happens when a driver does not have the right of way but decides to go anyway. Tire blowouts are also known to cause head-on crashes. The reason for this is that they may lead to rollovers, losing control of the truck, and accidentally moving toward oncoming traffic.

Citations for Speeding Truck Drivers

Speeding among truck drivers may be more common than you think. To prove this, the FMCSA has kept track of truck drivers receiving citations for going faster than the speed limit over the years. These citations do not always stem from accidents, but many do.

The following is the number of citations given to commercial drivers in a recent year for going over the speed limit:

  • 15 or more miles per hour over the speed limit: 15,510 citations
  • 11 to 14 miles per hour over the speed limit: 28,325 citations
  • Six to 10 miles per hour over the speed limit: 67,487 citations

These numbers may not seem like a lot when you consider that about 12 million people work as truck drivers or in truck-related careers, and this number does not include self-employed truck drivers. However, there are a lot of drivers who do not get caught speeding, which contributes to the 100,000 truck accidents each year. The reality is that speeding truck drivers are everywhere, and they are a danger to all other motorists.

What Are the Problems of Speeding?

When a trucker speeds, they may think that it benefits them by getting to their destination before their driving time limit runs out. However, there are still negative impacts when it comes to a truck driver speeding.

Other than legal consequences, some of the other problems of speeding include:

  • Fuel inefficiencies
  • Higher premiums from insurance companies
  • Lost productivity due to recurring roadside inspections
  • Poor CSA scores

What Is a Proper Speed Limit for a Semi-Truck?

You may be under the impression that truck drivers should follow a specific speed limit, but this is not always the case. Sometimes, they simply have to follow the posted speed limit because of speed limiters. The posted speed limits are there for a reason, but several factors contribute to the proper speed limit for a semi-truck.

Truck drivers must pay attention, be aware of their surroundings, and adapt to road conditions. This means a driver should not continue driving at the posted speed limit if it begins snowing, icing, or pouring rain outside.

Different weather conditions can lead to visibility issues and increase the risk of a truck wreck. Therefore, the driver must use their judgment and decide to drive at an ideal speed that will decrease the chances of hydroplaning, running off the road, or crashing into another vehicle.

What Is a Tractor Trailer’s Black Box and How Can It Help a Truck Accident Case?

If a tractor-trailer was manufactured in the 1990s or sooner, there is a good chance that it has a black box. Black boxes are data recording devices that keep track of the driver’s speed and hard braking for up to a month. When an accident occurs, there is a good chance that the driving speed was recorded during the accident.

Although these black boxes may seem small, they contain much information. Some of the other data that this event data recorder (EDR) keeps track of is the driving time, the use of brakes, turning of the steering wheel, engine oil, tire pressure, and more. A truck accident attorney may decide to use this device to prove what caused the wreck. But it will not be easy to obtain this information.

A trucking company is not required to provide this information unless properly requested.  Also, the data may be destroyed or written over if not promptly preserved.  If a truck accident victim believes that they were hurt due to the negligence or recklessness of a truck driver, then they will need to ensure that the trucking company preserves the data on the black box by legal means.

Is a Speeding Truck Driver Always at Fault?

Determining who is liable for damages when a collision occurs is one of the most important steps in the legal process.

A San Antonio truck accident lawyer can investigate your accident. We help you find out if the truck driver, their employer, or the manufacturer of the vehicle is responsible for all or part of the damages. Lawyers have methods of determining whether a driver was speeding or otherwise negligent when the crash happened.

Holding Negligent Truck Drivers Accountable

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When a passenger vehicle is involved in a truck accident, it is essential to determine the cause and calculate the damages. Depending on how severe your accident and injuries were, automobile repairs and medical bills are most likely not the only damages you have.

For example, physical therapy, surgeries, occupational therapy, counseling, home modifications, and ongoing services are just a few of the potential damages that may be claimed in a personal injury lawsuit.

Call an Experienced Texas Truck Accident Attorney Today

If a truck driver broke the speed limit and injured you or a loved one, you can hold them accountable for their actions with the help of a truck accident attorney. You only have a limited time to file a claim, and delay can lead to the loss of your opportunity to recover compensation for your injuries. Call one of our truck accident attorneys in San Antonio, today, to discuss your legal options.


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