An “elephant race” is what happens when a truck driver merges into the passing lane in an attempt to pass another truck. The unintended consequence is that the passing truck driver may block both lanes for several minutes, and if frustrated drivers don’t realize what’s happening, they could inadvertently cause a crash. To help explain further, we need to understand what an elephant race means for truck drivers.
Changing lanes is difficult for truck drivers, especially in busy highway traffic. Most truck drivers prefer to stay in the travel lane if at all possible. However, this is difficult because most trucks have a slightly different maximum speed based on how they’re governed.
Many semi-trucks in America are equipped with governors, devices that prevent trucks from accelerating after a certain speed. While these devices are useful, there’s no federal standard for maximum truck speed.
Moreover, each truck model and each brand of governor is slightly different in their measurements. For example, say there are two trucks governed at 65 MPH, but because of mechanical differences, one is actually traveling at 63 MPH and the other at 66 MPH. When these two trucks meet, the faster truck driver has a choice: slow down or pass. Many truck drivers choose to pass, and elephant races are the result.
Are Elephant Races Dangerous?
Elephant races are annoying, but are they dangerous? Not inherently. However, drivers could quickly endanger themselves if they aren’t patient and attempt to weave through traffic before the faster truck has merged back into the travel lane.
When drivers don’t allow a semi-truck back into the travel lane, they could find themselves in two “no-zones” (areas of zero visibility around a semi-truck) at the same time. This doubles the risk of a truck accident because neither truck driver can see the smaller vehicle, and if any of the three drivers make a mistake, it could cause a catastrophic wreck.
When someone is injured or killed in a truck crash, they and their families have a right to pursue justice. If you or someone you love have been injured and need help moving forward, our team is here for you. To discuss your case with an experienced Shreveport truck accident attorney from Morris & Dewett Injury Lawyers, don’t hesitate to send us an email or call (318) 221-1508 today.