Previous posts on this blog touched upon the fact that speeding motorists present a greater risk for causing car accidents involving you and others in Virginia. If one driving a traditional vehicle at excessive speeds can pose such a danger, you can imagine how much more of a problem a truck driver who chooses to ignore posted speed limits can be.
The difficulty that comes with operating a large semi-truck and tractor-trailer even in ideal conditions contributes to the perception of negligence you may attribute to a truck driver who speeds. Yet what could prompt such a professional (who is no doubt more familiar with the challenges in controlling their vehicle than you are) to engage in such action?
Bending to performance expectations
Like any working professional, truck drivers are under constant pressure to perform for their employers. In the transportation and freight industries, customer satisfaction may often depend on the timely completion of routes. Thus, motor carriers and trucking companies may try to mandate that drivers conform to certain delivery schedules.
Establishing such expectations may be fine provided that an employer does so in accordance with local law. Indeed, according to Section 392.6 of the Code of Federal Regulations, an employer cannot impose expected route completion times that would require a driver to travel in excess of the posted speed limits in the areas that those routes traverse.
Assigning liability to both a truck driver and a trucking company
If excessive speed did indeed play a role in your truck accident, how are you to know whether the driver simply chose to speed on their own accord, or if their employer expected them to conform to an unsafe standard? A company’s own internal documentation (e.g. policy and procedure manuals, posted performance standards) may provide such insight.