Have you ever looked in the rear-view mirror and seen a semitrailer within what seems like an arm’s reach of your bumper? If so, then you know the anxiety that situation can cause.
This is a dangerous one that can quickly result in a devastating truck accident. Because tractor-trailers require a significant amount of time and distance to safely come to a stop, those that are following too closely are much more likely to cause a rear-end collision.
Why semis need more time to stop
The biggest reason why these rigs need more room to stop is because of their sheer size and power. These vehicles can weigh as much as 80,000 pounds and be as long as 53 feet. This means that a semi-truck traveling at 65 miles per hour will need about 525 feet to come to a safe stop, compared to 316 feet for a passenger vehicle. That’s the difference of about two-thirds of a football field.
Factors contributing to longer stopping distances
There are other issues that can force a truck to take longer to stop. A slow reaction time, sometimes caused by distraction or intoxication, can cause a trucker to hit the brakes slower than expected. Road conditions can also affect the amount of time and distance required for one of these big rigs to stop. The driver’s awareness, though, is going to be a key factor in stopping distance.
What can you do to stay safe?
The best way to keep yourself safe from a semitrailer accident is to simply avoid these trucks by letting them pass or by changing lanes. Don’t brake check them or drive aggressively near them. Also, do your best to avoid their blind spots.
We know that even the safest drivers can be taken by surprise and find themselves in the middle of a wreck. If you or a loved one are in that situation now, then you may want to consider taking legal action to try to recover the compensation that is needed and deserved.