It’s a potentially deadly combination. Truth be told, speed and tractor trailers just don’t mix well. Unfortunately, two Pennsylvania families preparing to bury their teenage daughters now know it firsthand. Meanwhile, two other teens riding in the same SUV remain in the hospital. The four girls were on their way to a church gathering when their vehicle was struck by a tractor-trailer on Interstate 80.
According to reports, the large semi’s speed contributed to the accident. Like many other cases, bad weather also added to the lethal combination of going fast in adverse conditions. The stress of meeting work deadlines pales in comparison to the alternative.
In the meantime, the truck driver reported nothing more than a few bruises. However, there’s no doubt that the accident will scar him for a lifetime.
According to the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety, a vast majority of fatal accidents involving big rigs occur with passenger size vehicles. Size absolutely matters when you think of the weight of a tractor-trailer and even a larger SUV. The difference varies as much as 20-30 times.
Speed and Tractor Trailer Accidents
More than likely, it’s already acted as one of your most troublesome fears. As you ride down any of the major roadways, you can’t help but notice how fast some big rig operators travel. It gives absolute meaning to the concept that they’re on their way to an accident.
You remember your own driver’s education classes and learning that keeping a distance is critical when you need to stop your car. Once again, you know that size matters when it comes to breaking a vehicle. Add to that factor that the truck holds extra cargo.
Imagine you’re on a highway and the road conditions are suitable for travel. The pavement is dry, and the 18-wheeler behind you is not speeding. In fact, the trucker is doing about 60 mph. Now, think about the size of a football field. If the truck is fully loaded, the driver needs almost that distance to stop.
Add another five miles to that same equation and the numbers almost double. On its own, a semi weighs up to 80,000 pounds. It needs a whole lot of stopping room. The obvious is that the higher the rate of speed – the more braking distance.
Why Truckers Speed
Without question, it’s unfair to say that all truckers speed. However, many feel pressured by their companies. Often, their loads require delivery by specific times.
In some cases, a semi driver may be tired or guilty of distracted driving. Of course, driving under the influence contributes to truck accidents involving speed.
Defensive driving is an art mastered by many truckers. However, that doesn’t make accidents unavoidable when others aren’t following the rules of the road.
Meanwhile, some truckers go over the speed limit to keep up with traffic. Their intentions aren’t to pass in between other vehicles to get ahead. However, they still pose a risk to other drivers on the road.
Speed and tractor trailers can make for catastrophic accidents. If you or a loved one suffered injuries or a fatality with a big rig, Fellerman & Ciarimboli would like to help you. Contact us to learn more about your legal rights during this difficult time.
With more than 40 years of combined experience, the personal injury attorneys at Fellerman & Ciarimboli strive to provide the best service to clients in Philadelphia, Northeast Pennsylvania, and throughout the Keystone State.