Drivers in New Mexico, especially those of 18-wheelers, are all too liable to engage in harsh driving: that is, harsh acceleration, harsh braking and harsh turns. This applying of more than usual force to the accelerator and brakes is usually a sign of aggressive driving, and when truckers are aggressive, chances are that they are unsafe in other ways.

First, the hazards of harsh driving are well-known. Harsh acceleration will only raise the risk for a rear-end collision, and harsh braking can cause the truck to jackknife. Harsh driving is usually combined with other signs of aggressive and unsafe driving like tailgating and the failure to take road and weather conditions into account.

That’s not all. Trucking companies should know that harsh braking puts wear on the ABS system, damages the metal components and can cause the brakes to overheat. Harsh acceleration can cost a trucking company an extra three miles a gallon whereas driving at a consistent speed is more fuel-efficient. Lastly, harsh driving emits harmful gases that harm the planet.

With the wide availability of accelerometers, there’s no reason for trucking companies not to use these devices to monitor their fleet for harsh driving. That way, they can pinpoint unsafe drivers for coaching and build a more safety-minded culture for the sake of both the drivers and the public.

If trucking companies do not take this step, then there will only continue to be more truck accidents due to trucker negligence. Victims of such accidents, for their part, could hire a lawyer and find out if they are eligible for compensation and how much. The lawyer may assist with the claim and handle all negotiations so that victims hopefully achieve a reasonable settlement. If the trucking company refuses to pay out, victims might take the case to court.