Schmitt Mulhern, LLC

Commercial truckers put Missouri motorists at risk

Behaviors that are obviously dangerous for cars and SUVs are even worse for commercial trucks. The sheer size of a semi-truck amplifies common hazards, such as stop-and-go traffic, poor weather conditions, objects in the roads and other adverse conditions.

Lower speeds are always advisable, especially for large trucks. This was made clear in a 2012 American Transportation Research Institute study that linked reduced speed with fewer crashes.

Despite the research, far too many commercial vehicle drivers continue to drive above the speed limit. Their reckless behavior puts all other drivers - and their passengers - at risk. The Missouri State Highway Patrol Statistical Analysis Center reported that 109 people died and 3,185 were injured in commercial vehicle crashes in 2014. While these numbers are slightly fewer than in previous years, there is much room for improved safety on roads in the state.

Attempts to make roads safer

In many states, truckers have different speed limits than other drivers. However, the posted speed limits in Missouri apply to all drivers.

The U.S. Department of Transportation intends to someday require speed limiting devices on all commercial vehicles weighing over 26,000 pounds. Laws would cap each vehicle's speed at 68, 65 or 60 miles per hour. The DOT predicts that this will save nearly 500 lives per year.

Why so much speeding?

Many truckers are paid on a per-mile basis. Those who wish to earn a little more money drive faster in hopes of increasing their paychecks. Speeding may also be caused by unrealistic driving schedules. Inattentive drivers commonly speed, as do fatigued drivers. Drug and alcohol use can increase the chances of speeding.

Who is to blame for accident injuries?

Failing to drive at the posted limit is classified as negligent behavior. Accident victims can make a strong case against those who disobey the speed limit while driving large vehicles. Those who successfully prove the truck driver's fault may receive compensation for their medical benefits, lost wages and pain and suffering.

If you were harmed in an accident due to a speeding commercial vehicle, you may be entitled to compensation. Learn about your legal rights and the role of negligence in truck accidents by talking with a personal injury lawyer from the law firm of Schmitt Mulhern, LLC. By holding negligent drivers accountable, you can help make roads safer for other motorists as well.

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Ben Schmitt

Attorney Ben Schmitt

Mr. Schmitt has over 25 years of legal experience in Missouri and Kansas, and he has been first chair in over 100 jury trials in state and federal courts. He is recognized by the Kansas City Business Journal, Super Lawyers, Avvo.com and Martindale Hubbell as one of the best personal injury lawyers in Missouri and Kansas.

Matt Mulhern

Attorney Matt Mulhern

Mr. Mulhern has over 25 years of legal experience and a 100 percent success rate arguing before the Missouri Court of Appeals. He has a unique knowledge of the inner workings of insurance companies and how they will dispute your injury claim. He practices in both Missouri and Kansas.