Did you know that speeding and aggressive driving are the leading causes of trucking accidents on our nation’s highways? According to a truck crash causation study conducted by the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration and the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, 38% of the truck accidents they reviewed were caused by poor driver decision. Poor driver decision includes truck drivers who do the following without regard for the safety of others:
- Driving too fast for conditions
- Misjudging the speed of other vehicles
- Following other vehicles too closely
Although this should be common sense, this study confirms that speed and following too closely increase a truck driver’s risk of causing a crash. As we know, any driver who is speeding and tailgating can cause a wreck, but a truck driver behind the wheel of a massive 80,000 pound tractor-trailer may not only cause an accident but serious injuries and fatalities.
What Is Aggressive Driving?
People often confuse aggressive driving with road rage. Road rage is typically caused by one driver provoking another motorist into using his or her car in a way that endangers other drivers. With aggressive driving, however, the driver may not be trying to cause harm intentionally to a specific driver but is still driving in an unsafe manner.
What Does an Aggressive Truck Driver Look Like?
A truck driver doesn’t have to be engaged in road rage to be considered an aggressive driver. Aggressive driving behaviors can include excessive speeding, tailgating or following too closely, erratic lane changes, failing to yield the right of way, failing to stop and obey traffic signs, unsafe and improper passing, obscene gestures, and reckless driving.
Typically, speeding alone wouldn’t be considered aggressive; however, a driver who exhibits several different types of poor driving, such as speeding, not signaling, and weaving in and out of traffic, would be considered an aggressive driver.
When truck drivers are running behind schedule, they tend to speed. Additionally, even though they are professional drivers, the stresses of driving can cause them to make poor driving decisions and put others sharing the road with them at risk.
The Dangers of Sharing the Road With an Aggressive Trucker
When truck drivers participate in speeding and other aggressive driving behaviors, they can cause serious accidents and injuries. Speeding and tailgating are doubly dangerous in an 18-wheeler. Due to its size and weight, it can be much harder to stop in an emergency—causing greater damage to the vehicle and occupants it slams into. Sadly, motorists in smaller vehicles involved in such crashes often get the worst of it due to the sheer size of commercial trucks.
This is why it is important that drivers know to avoid aggressive truckers at all cost. To determine if you are sharing the road with an aggressive trucker, ask yourself the following questions:
- Is the truck driver traveling too fast for the speed limit and road conditions?
- Is the driver tailgating my car?
- Is he flashing his lights or high beams, honking his horn, or making obscene gestures at me?
- Is he operating his vehicle in a dangerous manner?
If you believe you are you sharing the road with an aggressive trucker, you need to contact the local authorities and let them know you believe the truck driver is a danger to those on the road. Additionally, most large trucks have signs on the back of their vehicles with a number you can call to report their driving. While any type of negligent and aggressive driving is bad, it can be catastrophic when it involves an 80,000 pound vehicle.
Get Help From a Virginia Truck Accident Lawyer
If you have been involved in a trucking accident due to an aggressive truck driver, you need an accident attorney on your side to investigate the accident and truck driver’s negligence. To speak with a personal injury lawyer about your rights and your specific case, contact our office at (703) 721-4233 for a complimentary consultation.