Going too fast and driving unsafely is never a good idea, but due to their size and sometimes hazardous cargo, when truck drivers have a history of speeding and moving violations, the other motorists on the road are put at an even greater risk.
Truckers that drive over the speed limit or too fast for the conditions are endangering everyone around them because loaded tractor-trailers require 20 to 40 percent more stopping distance than passenger cars. Even worse, the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) has found that drivers who speed are more likely to engage in other risky behaviors such as drinking and driving and using a cellphone while driving.
Heavy-duty tractor-trailers are disproportionately involved in fatal crashes based on the total miles traveled. Speeding and other serious moving violations, such as improper lane changes or reckless driving, are some of the leading causes of truck accidents. When a truck driver speeds or disregards traffic laws, it can result in serious injuries and even death. In fact, speeding is the leading cause of fatal crashes involving large trucks.
If you or a loved one was involved in an accident with a truck driver who was speeding or committing any other moving violation, contact our Houston truck accident lawyers today at The Krist Law Firm, P.C. at . We will investigate your case and gather evidence to prove that the truck driver was at fault. We will help you obtain the maximum amount of compensation possible.
Under Texas law, moving violations are defined as “an act committed in connection with the operation of a motor vehicle on a public street or highway, which constitutes a hazard to traffic and is prohibited by state law or city ordinance.”
Based on NHTSA data, nearly 17 percent of large, commercial truck drivers involved in fatal crashes had at least one prior speeding violation on their record. While speeding is by far the most frequent type of moving violation committed by truck drivers, there are a number of unlawful driving behaviors that can increase the likelihood of a crash.
Some of the moving violations that are closely associated with truck accidents include:
Despite evidence showing that lower speed limits for trucks could save lives, commercial truck drivers are permitted to go the same speed as passenger cars in Texas. This wasn’t always the case, but Texas made major changes to its traffic laws in 2011. At that time, the Texas Department of Transportation (TxDOT) eliminated nighttime speed limits of 65 mph and removed separate speed limits for large trucks.
Lawmakers also increased the maximum speed limit in Texas to 85 mph and many stretches of highway saw a jump from 70 mph to 75 mph. A recent Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS) study found that nationwide speed limit increases during the last 20 years are responsible for the deaths of 33,000 people across the U.S. In certain sections of I-10 and I-20 in West Texas speed limits can reach as high as 80 mph, which is alarming given that 64 percent of fatal truck crashes occurred in rural areas in 2013.
In 2016, the U.S. Department of Transportation (USDOT) proposed a rule that would require heavy duty trucks to be equipped with speed limiter devices. These devices, also known as Electronic Control Modules, limit the speed at which a vehicle can travel via computer software. Although the maximum speed has not been determined, USDOT is considering setting the maximum speed at 60, 65, or 68 mph.
NHTSA estimates that a maximum truck speed limit of 60 mph would save between 162 and 498 and lives each year, while a maximum speed limit of 65 mph would save approximately 63 to 214 lives. If the rule is adopted, it would apply to all commercial trucks weighing more than 26,000 pounds.
If you have been injured in a crash involving a commercial truck, you should speak with an experienced Houston personal injury attorney right away to discuss your rights. At The Krist Law Firm, P.C., our Houston truck accident attorneys have extensive experience representing individuals injured in accidents caused by reckless truck drivers, and we will fight for the compensation you deserve.
With over 27 years of experience handling truck accident cases, we understand the inner workings of the trucking industry and can help you navigate all aspects of the legal process. We can investigate your accident, collect valuable evidence in a timely manner, and negotiate with insurance companies or other responsible parties on your behalf. We always work to obtain the maximum possible compensation in all truck accident cases and our proven track record includes the largest verdict for a Texas commercial trucking case in 2014.
Give us a call today at to receive a free consultation with one of our talented Houston truck accident lawyers.