A common cause of trucking crashes are truck drivers driving at speeds which are too fast given the road and weather conditions. Trucks are much larger vehicles than passenger cars and often times need to travel at a slower speed in order to maintain control of the truck at all times. A recent study conducted by the Large Truck Crash Causation Study found that 23 percent, or in other words almost a fourth of all trucking crashes, were caused by truck drivers driving at a faster speed than the conditions called for. Examples of conditions that might require a truck driver to need to travel more slowly than usual could be weather issues, such as wet roads or low visibility, or road work, such as construction zones which may have large equipment near the road or uneven roadways. These are just a couple types of conditions that would make a lower speed necessary, and if truck drivers are aware of the need to slow done in any kind of changed condition, the number of trucking accidents that occur each year would probably decrease dramatically.
The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration has come up with five useful tips for truck drivers to always keep in mind and that can help them remember when they need to slow down and be extra cautious of their speed. The first tip is to reduce speed in the event of any adverse weather conditions. Even if the weather does not seem to be bad enough to affect one’s ability to drive, it is always best to err on the side of caution and remember that on slick roads, or in hard to see conditions, a truck driver can easily lose control on the truck if going too fast. The second tip offered is to enter all curves slowly. The reason this is so important is that trucks are such big vehicles, and if a truck driver takes a curve too fast it is very easy to lose control of the truck and cause a trucking accident. Similarly, the third tip offered is to always reduce your speed when entering or exiting a highway and this is because these ramps are a very likely place for a truck to rollover if the truck is traveling at too fast of speeds. The fourth tip is to always drive more slowly when driving with a loaded trailer because trucks with loaded trailers have a shifted center of balance and are up to ten times more likely to rollover than a truck with no trailer or an unloaded trailer. The final tip that is suggested is to always slow down in work zones. The reason for this is that work zones often result in sudden slowdowns or stops and if a truck is traveling at too high of a speed, the driver may not be able to stop in time to avoid a trucking accident. To read more about the importance of maintaining an appropriate speed while driving a truck in order to avoid a trucking accident, please click on this link.