Truckers who speed are more likely to engage in other risky driving behaviors like talking or texting on their cell phones, eating and drinking, and taking their hands off the wheel. They are 69 percent more likely to be involved in a fatal vehicle collision than drivers who obey speed limits.
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Speed-Related Trucking Crashes
National trucking safety studies show that truckers who speed often engage in other risky driving behaviors behind the wheel including talking and texting on a cell phone, eating and drinking, personal grooming, and paperwork. Studies also show that truckers going more than 10 mph over the speed limit are more likely to take both hands off the wheel to engage in these activities. All of these risky driving behaviors create potential dangers while driving, even at safe speeds, but at excessive speeds, they are twice as likely to cause a fatal crash. According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), speeding drivers account for 27 percent of all fatal motor vehicle crashes in the U.S. Between 2015 and 2016, speed-related motor vehicle fatalities rose by four percent.
About 64 percent of truckers admit they are comfortable driving above the speed limit. Most say that speeding helps them make up time lost to unexpected traffic delays, bad road and weather conditions, and mandated rest periods. According to trucking safety studies by the NHTSA, trucking companies lose approximately $47 billion to truck crashes each year for medical costs, property damage, and employee lost productivity. Speed-related crashes alone account for $8.2 billion in annual losses.
The SmartDrive database analyzes truckers with moderate speeding (up to 10 mph over the limit) and excessive speeding (more than 10 mph over the limit). According to the SmartDrive annual survey, truckers who engage in excessive speeding are 266 percent more likely to talk on their cell phones, and 241 percent more likely to text while operating a commercial truck. They are also 200 percent more likely to consume food or beverages and 171 percent more likely to complete paperwork while driving. Speeding truckers are 272 percent more likely to drive with both hands off the wheel.
The SmartDrive SmartIQ for truckers also includes interactive maps that show where excessive speeding occurs the most on U.S. interstates. This unique database helps trucking companies identify problems with speeding drivers and prevent fatal trucking accidents on busy roadways.