Truck drivers often drive too fast for road conditions, which can lead to accidents. According to the Transportation Research Board’s (TRB) 2010 Report, “Trucking 101,”driving too fast for conditions accounts for about 23% of all truck accidents leading to over 30,000 trucking accidents each year.
Keep in mind that driving too fast for conditions does not necessarily mean speeding. Anyone that has had a large truck on his or her bumper in city traffic can attest to this. In fact, rear end collisions are one of the most common results of truckers driving too fast for conditions.
Investigating the Truck Accident to Determine Rate of Speed and Driving Conditions
Investigating this issue can be bit tricky since a truck driver is very unlikely to admit that he or she was driving too fast. This means that the information from the truck driver or truck company will not come easy in most cases.
Most but not all trucks have data recorders installed. Different data recorders will record different data. The data recorder will hold critical information regarding the accident.
If there is a data recorder, then it is important to get your hands on it. Even then, the data recorders may not be enough. Again, driving too fast for conditions does not mean speeding. As such, the data recorder may show driving within the posted speed limit, which will not necessarily reflect road conditions. So it may be necessary to get traffic conditions from available sources to get an idea of whether the driver was driving too fast.
In many cases, there will be witnesses to the accident. It is very important to get their statements regarding the cause of the accident. Most drivers have had truck drivers barreling down on them at one time or another. Many are more than happy to give statements about the driver’s negligent driving behavior. This may be the most valuable information if it is available.
In short, it is important to obtain every bit of information possible from any source to show that the driver was driving too fast. This may take some work but it is important to obtain. A truck rear-ending a vehicle is pretty much a slam dunk on negligence and liability. However, if the driver was reckless, it may be possible to obtain punitive damages as well.
Truck Accident Data Recorders
Most modern trucks will have data recorders. The technology has been around since the 70’s. It has been widely used since the early 90’s.
Data recorders record a host of important data. Each brand may record different data. Data recorders can record speed, brake usage, GPS, diagnostics coding, and a great deal of other trip/event data depending on the make and model of the recorder.
Although each make and model may record different data, even the most basic recorder should provide some useful information regarding the speed of the truck at the time of the accident. This is the basic building block for showing that the truck driver was driving too fast for conditions.
Experienced Legal Counsel is Advised in Trucking Accidents
Trucking accidents can be more challenging than other types of automobile accidents. There are a number of reasons for this. First and foremost is the fact that few truck drivers and even fewer truck companies will readily admit fault. Instead, one may expect a lack of cooperation and even obstruction in the investigation of the trucking accident.
A personal injury attorney experienced in trucking accidents is essential. In fact, it is safe to say that it would be highly inadvisable to pursue a truck accident claim without the assistance of an experienced attorney.
The Albuquerque attorneys at Collins & Collins, P.C. can help. We can be reached at (505) 242-5958