Arkansas tractor-trailer accident lawyer explains what drivers need to know
Tractor-trailer accidents caused by speeding trucks have become increasingly common in recent years. That’s why some traffic safety experts support a proposal to require large trucks to be equipped with devices that limit the speed they can travel on the road, according to a recent Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS) article.
So what is a speed limiter? How do they work? And how common is speeding a factor in tractor-trailer accidents? Below, you can learn more about speeding and how it contributes to truck accidents, and why some traffic safety officials believe speed limiters could be a way to prevent speeding accidents.
What is a truck speed limiter?
As the name suggests, a speed limiter device would prevent commercial trucks from traveling above a certain speed limit. Speed limiters use sensors to determine how fast a vehicle is traveling, then send an electronic signal to the truck's onboard computer to restrict the flow of fuel and air to the engine when the vehicle reaches a programmed activation point.
The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) is currently accepting public comments on installing speed limiters on commercial vehicles that weigh more than 26,000 pounds, which includes tractor-trailers. The specific top speed has not been decided and would be determined later during the rulemaking process.
How common are truck accidents caused by speeding truck drivers?
Speed was a factor in nearly one-third of all motor vehicle fatalities in 2020, according to the IIHS. Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, speeding-related accidents have become especially common in the past two years.
According to Eric Teoh, IIHS director of statistical services, excessive speeding often plays a role in tractor-trailer accidents, so limiting the top speed of tractor-trailers and other large trucks is especially important when it comes to reducing the number of tractor-trailer accidents.
The reason why is large, heavy trucks “have more momentum and thus require longer stopping distances than smaller vehicles,” according to the IIHS. Tractor-trailers and other large trucks also cause “more damage in the event of a crash.”
How do you prove a truck driver was speeding?
After a truck crash, there are ways for investigators to determine if a tractor-trailer was speeding at the time of a collision. Such evidence can include:
- Data recorded by the tractor-trailer’s black box data recorder, also known as an event data recorder (EDR) or electronic control module (ECM). This device records how fast the truck was going at the time of the collision, as well as whether the truck driver attempted to slow down before the crash.
- Traffic camera footage, including dash-cam footage, of the collision.
- Statements from eyewitnesses who saw the accident.
- The length of the skid marks on the road caused by the tractor-trailer involved in the collision.
- The severity of the damage sustained by vehicles in the accident.
Accident reconstruction experts can analyze such evidence and determine how fast the truck was going at the time of the crash. But obtaining such evidence can be challenging, especially if it's in the trucking company's possession. That’s why it’s critical that you have an experienced attorney on your side, handling your truck accident claim or lawsuit.
Why should I hire a truck accident lawyer?
Don’t underestimate the complexity or the seriousness of your truck accident claim. Even if local, state, or federal authorities are investigating your accident, building a strong legal case can be very difficult. Sometimes, it’s because the trucking company the tractor-trailer driver works for refuses to cooperate. Other times, it’s the insurance company that’s the problem. Either way, you need an attorney on your side, fighting for your rights.
An experienced Arkansas truck accident lawyer at McDaniel Law Firm, PLC in Jonesboro can help you every step of the way. We know the law. We understand how the legal system works. We know what evidence to look for and which strategies can be the most effective.
Discover what we can do for you. Contact us and schedule a free consultation with an Arkansas truck accident attorney focused on your best interests. Our law firm handles truck accident injury claims and lawsuits throughout Arkansas.