While it’s not safe for any driver to speed on Iowa’s roads, it can be especially reckless for a semi-truck driver to do so. Semi-trucks are significantly larger than any other vehicle on the road, and losing control of an 18-wheeler can have disastrous consequences.
Here are some of the reasons why a speeding semi-truck driver is particularly dangerous:
1.) Increased stopping distance: A fully-loaded semi can weigh up to 80,000 pounds. For that reason, when traveling at highway speeds, it takes about the length of a football field to come to a stop – even in ideal conditions. That is twice as long as it takes to stop an average car at similar speeds. Speeding means that it will take even longer for the truck driver to come to a safe stop.
2.) Driver fatigue: Truck drivers have to work long hours. That is why there are federal laws – called hours of service rules – about how long a trucker can drive each day. Unfortunately, too many truckers try to skirt those rules because – as the old trucker saying goes – “if the wheels ain’t turning, I ain’t earning.” Fatigue causes reaction time to become slower. If a fatigued truck driver is speeding, he or she is at a greater risk for failing to react to the traffic around them, which could result in an accident.
3.) Bad weather makes speeding worse: Weather conditions like rain, snow, fog and ice can impact both traction and visibility. When truckers speed in bad weather, they significantly increase the likelihood of an accident because they won’t be able to see what’s ahead and be able react to it in a timely manner.
If you suspect the semi-truck that hit you was speeding, there is one important thing to do next: find an experienced Iowa truck accident lawyer to handle your case. Semi-truck accidents are very different from “regular” car crashes, and you need a lawyer skilled in the ins and outs of truck accident law.
Because truck drivers are considered “professional drivers,” they are regulated by federal law. One regulation involves recording information in a log book. In this log book, truckers record mileage, hours of service, and destinations. In addition, some trucks have a “black box” recorder that tracks the speed of the tractor-trailer. Both are key pieces of evidence to your Iowa trucking accident lawsuit.
Federal regulations permit trucking companies to get rid of log books and other information related to the crash six months after the accident. That is why it’s extremely important you contact an attorney as soon as possible after the crash, so evidence is not destroyed. An attorney can send a retention of evidence letter to the trucker and the trucking company, telling them to keep logs and other evidence.
Investigating the trucker’s role in the crash is crucial to your case, but it takes time for an attorney to do so. They must gather records and other forms of evidence for review. They may also need to hire trucking accident experts to analyze the crash site and the vehicles involved. This investigation can take six months or more. As you only have a limited amount of time to settle your case or bring a lawsuit, we recommend contacting a lawyer as soon as possible.
RSH Legal offers a free consultation for Iowa truck accident victims injured by negligent truck drivers. Call us today at 1-800-433-0283 and speak with one of our experienced truck crash attorneys.
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