The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) has ruled that a nationwide clearinghouse...READ MORE
Cruise Control, Hydroplaning Contribute to Trucking Accident
Wet roads are obviously dangerous at any time, but they become even more hazardous when 30,000-pound big rigs share the road with much smaller automobiles. If those trucks are on cruise control during wet weather, the dangers get exponentially higher.
One recent example of the dangers of using cruise control when the road is wet occurred on August 30, when a big rig and a vehicle collided on a stretch of rain-dampened highway near Lubbock, TX. Unfortunately the accident, which occurred on Interstate 27, resulted in the driver of the car suffering critical injuries.
A spokeswoman with the Texas Department of Transportation told the Lubbock Avalanche-Journal that using cruise control on a wet road greatly increases the risk of hydroplaning. It is essential, she said, that drivers turn off this feature so that they have better control over their vehicles in wet conditions.
A Possible Reason
The article did not mention whether the automobile or the truck was operating on cruise control at the time of the crash, which was still under investigation at the time of the report. However, it wouldn’t surprise us if the truck driver was using cruise control in order to get his payload to its destination as fast as possible.
In far too many instances, truck drivers are faced with unrealistic deadlines and often have to resort to risky behavior as a result. This could mean travelling too fast on a wet or icy road, not taking needed (and government-mandated) rest breaks and more. If an accident takes place because a driver is trying to meet a ridiculous deadline, the trucking company must be forced to face accountability.