Over the past several years, there has been an increase each year in the number of fatal truck accidents that occur. According to the National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB), one of the most critical reasons for this increase is due to rising speed limits. In 1995, many states begin increasing highway speed limits from 55 to 65 mph and quite a few have since increased their highway speed limit to 70 mph. In Idaho, Montana, Nevada, South Dakota, Texas, Utah, and Wyoming, there are some areas where the speed limit is 80 mph. Kansas, Nebraska, and several other states have a 75-mph speed limit.
Highways and interstates are the primary travel route for large commercial trucks, but a speeding truck can be as deadly as a speeding bullet. When a tractor-trailer is fully loaded, it takes that vehicle 300 feet to stop if it is traveling at 55 mph. But when it is traveling at 65 mph, that distance to stops jumps to 525 feet. Any kind of error on the truck driver’s part can be fatal.
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The faster a truck is going, the greater the force will be upon impact in a crash. The energy of the crash also increases depending on the speed the truck is traveling. When a truck is traveling at 35 mph hits an object, the force of the crash doubles from what the force would be at 25 mph. If the truck is traveling at 50 mph, the energy from the crash be quadruple. If the truck is traveling a 75 mph, the crash energy will be nine times greater than what it would be at 25 mph.
This is why crashes that involve speeding are always so much more catastrophic than crashes at lower speeds. When a crash occurs at 60 mph, the airbags and seat belts are not enough to prevent injuries. The passenger vehicle hit cannot withstand the force of that crash and the occupants inside the vehicle are often crushed.
If you cannot fathom the damage that could be done, this scenario may provide a good visual: Imagine driving a vehicle off the roof of a 12-story building. The impact of that vehicle hitting the ground is the same impact as a highway crash that occurs at 65 mph.
Contact a Virginia Accident Attorney
If you or a loved one has been injured in a truck accident, contact a Virginia truck accident attorney to discuss what legal recourse you may have against the responsible party or parties. The legal team from Shapiro & Appleton has successfully advocated for many truck accident victims and their families and we understand how complicated these cases can be. Our attorneys are available to meet and discuss the details of your case and how we may be able to help.
For more information about truck accidents in Virginia, please download our free guide.