Due to their sheer size and weight, 18-wheelers and other commercial trucks take much longer to come to a stop than do passenger cars. If the truck is overloaded, the stopping distance increases even more. Judging the momentum and necessary stopping distance can be difficult for truck drivers, and a mistake can cost lives.
If you were rear-ended by a truck, or a family member was killed in such a collision, you have legal rights and options. At Bart Durham Injury Law, we are here to explain your rights and help you pursue maximum compensation for your injuries or the wrongful death of a loved one. Our lawyers have decades of experience successfully resolving more than 5,000 cases. We are ready to help you, too.
Greater Speed Increases Stopping Distance By Leaps And Bounds
Under ideal road conditions, a fully loaded tractor-trailer traveling at 30 mph needs 100 feet to stop, according to the National Safety Council’s Professional Truck Driver Defensive Driving Course. One would think that doubling the speed to 60 mph would double the necessary stopping distance to 200 feet, but it doesn’t. It increases the distance to 426 feet. At 65 mph – only 5 mph more – the distance dramatically increases again to 525 feet.
Tips For Staying Safe Around Semi-Trucks
- Give the truck plenty of space. If you’re traveling at high speeds or in bad weather, increase the distance between your vehicles even further.
- Don’t pull out in front of a commercial truck. It may not be able to slow down sufficiently to avoid ramming your car.
- Never cut off a tractor-trailer in an effort to get to an exit or make a turn. Often, the truck will not be able to stop in time, leading to a potentially deadly collision.