One of perhaps the biggest mistakes that passenger car operators make is assuming that truckers can stop just as fast as they can. There are many factors, including speed, grades and weight, that make this impossible. While there’s nothing much that a tractor-trailer operator can do to avoid an accident if a motorist cuts in front of them, there are steps that truckers can take to minimize their chances of causing other crashes.
A good rule of thumb for truckers is that the higher the truck’s weight, the more time they need to come to a full stop after they brake. A similar rule applies to speed. The faster a trucker travels down the road, the more time they need to give themselves to reach a full stop after applying their brakes.
An operator must give themselves eight times the standard distance to come to a full stop if they’re carrying double the weight of their standard load and traveling twice their average speed.
The speed with which a trucker can reach a full stop comes down mainly to brake temperatures. Incredibly hot brakes experience diminished stopping capacity. Properly functioning brakes generally register at 500 degrees. It only takes a 100-degree increase for them to begin to malfunction.
Subtle speed increases coupled with a full load can impact truck braking rates as well. Lighter trucks traveling at a slow rate of speed will have eight times the stopping power of a faster-moving, heavier one. Tractor-trailer operators who increase their speed by a modest 10 miles per hour from 50 to 60 may need 56% more time to stop their trucks than someone driving consistently at the lower rate.
Truckers who collide with passenger cars often leave the motorists that they strike with severe injuries due to the crash’s sheer force. Many of these accidents result in these drivers’ fatalities. Those who survive their Louisiana crashes often suffer spinal cord and other traumatic injuries. A truck accidents attorney in Baton Rouge can help you hold the trucker who struck you liable for their actions so that you can recover the compensation that you’re sure to need to pay for your current and future medical expenses.