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Can commercial vehicles speed?

On Behalf of | May 20, 2024 | Truck Accident

You’ve likely seen at least one car in your driving career that treats the speed limit as a light suggestion. It can be even scarier when it’s not a car, but a semi-truck. While it’s easy to empathize with the pressure truck drivers must be under, deadlines are not an excuse to shrug off speed limits.

Not only do commercial drivers not have any leeway when it comes to speeding, but they often face significantly more restrictions and guidelines. A commercial driver’s license (CDL) isn’t easy to get, and the regulations that follow are strict.  When a truck driver gets a little too acquainted with the gas pedal and causes a wreck, accountability is possible. That includes questioning the trucking company itself.

Speeding makes just about everything more dangerous

Momentum can turn cargo into a weapon. Loading up a semi-truck is a science, not a hasty exercise. The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration dictates that a semi-truck can only go up to a maximum weight of 80,000 pounds. That load needs to be balanced so that the truck doesn’t lean in any particular direction. A speeding semi-truck is dangerous enough, imagine an overloaded one that’s not balanced out correctly.

Sometimes, truck drivers speed simply because they are tired. Of the many items regulated in the trucking industry, working hours is one of them. Fatigue can ruin a driver’s focus, and it takes a split second for a poor choice to lead to a horrific injury. If a trucker is speeding, it significantly amplifies the risk of this occurring. As such, truck drivers cannot work more than 14 hours in a day, and of those 14, three hours cannot be spent behind the wheel.

In tandem with feeling rushed, because trucking routes are pre-programmed by the FMCSA, safety measures tend to add to a trucker’s journey. This can include avoiding areas with heavy traffic or keeping dangerous cargo loads away from civilians.

No one is above the law. Even if truckers are under immense pressure, they don’t have the right to ignore the speed limit. Due to the sheer size of semi-trucks, a major accident becomes so much more likely to occur. Victims of trucking accidents can have their lives changed forever, and the sheer gravity of it can leave many feeling overwhelmed. A support system that advocates for you can be an effective step forward in seeking justice and moving on from a crash.