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Truck Accidents from Speeding in Michigan

February 7, 2022

Commercial trucks are found all over our Michigan roads and highways. Especially these days, truck drivers are in high demand. With fewer drivers available, it means those operating semis are on a tight schedule. Time is money, as they say, and long-haul truckers must get their cargo loads delivered as quickly as possible. Trying to get to their destinations as quickly as possible can result in some drivers driving too fast. This can cause accidents and injuries to other Michigan motorists.

Speeding can be a factor in any type of traffic accident; however, because of their size, high center of gravity, and weight, 18-wheelers and other commercial vehicles are especially prone to speed-related crashes. Plus, federal regulations restrict the number of hours drivers can work without taking a break to sleep; as a result, they want to complete their deliveries on time and within the hours of service timeframe.

Speeding Tickets for Big Rigs

The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) found that many commercial vehicle drivers are cited for speeding. Here are the reported speeding citations for commercial drivers in a single year:

  • Six to 10 miles per hour over the speed limit = 67,487;
  • 11 to 14 miles per hour over the speed limit = 28,325;
  • 15 or more miles per hour over the speed limit = 15,510.

The FMCSA also says that speeding is a significant contributor to many semi-truck crashes. Research shows that speeding has been involved in about one-third of all motor vehicle fatalities, and in 2019, it was a contributing factor in 26% of all traffic fatalities.

Speed Increases the Risk of Crashing

Speeding semis can increase the risk of more accidents and the threat of more severe accidents for Michigan motorists. Speeding can impact a truck and truck driver in a number of ways, including the following:

Greater stopping distance. An 18-wheeler requires more time and distance to stop to avoid a collision. As such, a speeding truck driver may not be able to stop in time if a vehicle is suddenly in their path. Also, the lower speed limit for on- and off-ramps can be too great for a semi-truck. Highway ramps can also have sharp curves that require a much lower speed for everyone.

Rollovers. Truck can roll on curves when speeding. Even a slight curve at a high speed can cause a big rig to become off-balance and rollover. Plus, slamming on the brakes during a curve can cause the truck’s wheels to lock up, and this can throw the truck into a skid.

More severe accidents. Speeding can increase the severity of an accident. A semi traveling at 80 miles per hour can frequently cause more damage and injuries than a truck traveling at 65 miles per hour.

Hauling a full load. A fully-loaded trailer will require more stopping time and can also raise the truck’s center of gravity which increases the risk of a rollover.

Truckers Driving Too Fast for Conditions

A semi driver may be technically driving the speed limit, but this doesn’t mean that he or she was driving at a safe speed for the road conditions. The FMCSA prohibits commercial vehicle operators from driving too fast for conditions, and in many semi accident cases, the truck driver is found to be responsible because he or she was going too fast for conditions. Remember, just because a truck driver is driving the speed limit does not mean they’re being safe.

Again, speeding or even driving the speed limit in adverse conditions can be dangerous. A truck driver may have to adjust their speed in these circumstances, and if they don’t, they may be liable:

  • Road construction;
  • Severe weather, such as rain, sleet, snow, and fog;
  • When there’s low visibility (in fog or a rain or snow storm);
  • When the pavement is wet or icy;
  • Heavy traffic conditions; and
  • Road hazards.

Contact us

Whether a truck driver exceeds the posted speed limit on a Michigan roadway or is driving too fast for the weather and road conditions, speeding contributes to many commercial truck accidents and serious injuries to others. If you or a family member has been seriously injured in an auto accident in Michigan where speed was a factor, contact Buchanan Firm. Our Grand Rapids truck accident lawyers will help you pursue compensation against those who are responsible.

For a free consultation with an experienced semi accident attorney in Michigan, contact Buchanan Firm. Our firm proudly serves people all across Michigan, including major cities like Grand Rapids, Muskegon, Detroit, Lansing, Holland, St. Joe, and Ann Arbor, and rural towns such as Lowell, Ada, Fremont, Newaygo, Grand Haven, Rockford, and Cedar Springs. We will meet you after-hours, at home or in the hospital, to accommodate you.

Contact us today!