Our last blog post discussed stopping distances for vehicles such as cars and SUVs. Though those statistics regarding stopping distances might be surprising, what is even more surprising is how those numbers increase when one looks at semi-trucks. While a car may only be 12 to 18 feet long and weigh between 3,000 and 4,000 pounds, a big rig might be as long as 65 feet and weight up to 80,000 pounds. This massive increase in size leads to much longer stopping distances.
In fact, a tractor trailer traveling at 65 miles per hour will need about 525 feet to come to a safe stop. This is more than 200 feet more than a car, which equates to two-thirds of a football field. Even slower speeds require more room for a truck to safely come to a stop. At 40 miles per hour, a semi-truck needs nearly 50 additional feet than a car needs to come to a stop.
So what does this tell us about big rigs? It means that truck drivers have to be extremely cautious in order to avoid a crash. These truckers need to ensure that they are attentive when behind the wheel and that they do not follow the vehicle in front of them too closely. Failing to follow these safety rules could result in a tragic wreck.
Those harmed in a truck accident can face serious injuries, including permanent disability. Sometimes these collisions are fatal. Therefore, those who have been hurt in a semi-truck accident may find it beneficial to consider their legal rights, which may be acted upon against a truck owner, a truck company, and a truck driver.
Source: UDOT, "Trucks Need More Time to Stop," accessed on May 8, 2015