Interstate 10, southwest of Beaumont, Texas, was the location of a massive 140-car pileup over Thanksgiving, which resulted in at least two deaths from a trucking accident. Authorities have deemed weather conditions, specifically fog, as the cause of the massive accident, but since the incident, many truck drivers and other motorists have been commenting online that the actual cause may have been reckless speeds, given weather conditions. Traffic on the I-10 was moving at almost 70 miles per hour just before the pileup, despite the dense fog that severely limited visibility.
Sadly this reckless driving, given prevailing weather conditions, is not an isolated event. A new truck driver wrote on The Trucker’s Report website, “It’s a wonder there wasn’t one like that between Detroitand Grand Rapids on 96 in the wee hours on Tuesday into Wednesday as many super truckers were flying by me in the pea soup non vis [non visibility] fog up there.” The rookie driver’s catch-22 situation was made evident in his comments as he said, “[Heck] of a choice though… run with them (or as fast as I could anyway lol) and risk a wreck of slow to a safe speed and worry about getting rammed from behind.”
Considering the fact that the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration reported that 25% of speeding-related semi truck fatalities happened during adverse weather conditions, it might be time for truckers to reduce their speed and drive within the limits of weather conditions. Meanwhile, many trucking accident victims are asking if weather is really the cause when the accident might have been avoided if the truck driver had just slowed down.
In the case of the I-10 pileup, there are currently two confirmed deaths, and authorities have determined that it was a semi-truck that hit an SUV, killing a Pearland, Texas couple in the pileup. At least another 10 people were critically injured, though the exact circumstances surrounding those injuries are still under investigation. Some are suggesting reducing the speed limit for truckers, but this wouldn’t change the fact that it is up to the driver to slow down to an appropriate speed for weather conditions. Any good driver knows that proper highway safety means slowing down when you can’t see and, it seems, many professional drivers still need to learn that lesson.