It is very important for semi-truck drivers to keep long following distances, to never tailgate other drivers and to hit the brakes long before they arrive at a red light or a stop sign. These trucks have above-average stopping distances, so a mistake in any of these areas can lead to a devastating rear-end crash.
The weight issue
Why do trucks have such long stopping distances? Most of it has to do with their weight. Your typical car or small SUV probably does not exceed 5,000 pounds and may well run from 3,000 to 4,000 pounds. A semi, on the other hand, can weigh up to 80,000 pounds when fully loaded. And that is only if they’re following the law, which mandates that 80,000 pounds is the upper limit.
If someone in a passenger car is attempting to stop, starting out at 65 miles per hour, the car won’t come to a complete stop for roughly the length of a football field. Some reports put it at 316 feet, which is just over the 100 yards (approximately 300 feet) of a standard field.
Scale that up to a semi going the same speed but weighing in at 80,000 pounds, and the stopping distance is 525 feet. That’s under optimal conditions. While it’s clear that semi-trucks have excellent braking systems, the sheer weight of a vehicle at speed makes it difficult to stop quickly. The only way a driver can be safe is by slowing down early, maintaining proper following distances and being cautious at every turn.
If you have been injured in a truck accident, you must know how to seek compensation for medical bills and more.