With millions of Americans on the roads to visit family and loved ones in California and around the country, Thanksgiving Day is one of the most dangerous days of the year to drive. Many travelers are pressed for time and driving long distances on unfamiliar roads, raising the chances of deadly accidents.
This year saw a tragic 140-car pileup in Texas. The crash occurred in a dense fog that reduced visibility to as little as ten feet. Despite the weather conditions, the pileup started when a tractor trailer hit an SUV while driving around 70 miles per hour.
When all was said and done, two people died in the motor vehicle accident and 80 other victims required treatment at local hospitals.
Based on photos of the wreckage and early investigative reports, numerous trucks were also driving at dangerously high speeds before the crash. Large trucks are especially dangerous at high speeds - heavy cargo weights make it difficult for truckers to safely brake to avoid hazards in the road.
This becomes an even larger problem when trucking companies reward drivers for making faster trips. Cases like this demonstrate the likelihood that truckers will push the envelope on speed even in bad road conditions. And, as this case demonstrates, the consequences can be catastrophic for other motorists.
Source: Los Angeles Times, "Thanksgiving pileup leaves two dead," Nov. 24, 2012