When a small car or a pickup truck pulls in front of a big rig or semi-truck to move forward in traffic, it makes one cringe. If the driver of the passenger car was aware of the increased stopping distance required to stop a commercial vehicle compared to a passenger car or pickup truck, they would never attempt that maneuver.
Getting in front of a big rig can be extremely dangerous if the traffic stops suddenly in front of you and you have an 80,000-pound vehicle right behind you.
One of the most important differences between a passenger car and a commercial truck is the stopping distance of the big truck. Tractor-trailers can require up to 40% more distance to stop than that of a typical passenger car. Add poor weather to the equation, and the stopping distance difference can even be worse. Add bad brakes on a truck, and the results can be terrible. Following to close by an 18-wheeler and rear-end collisions are inevitable.
Generally, at 60 miles an hour, an 18-wheeler can take up to 450 feet after the brakes are applied before the rig can come to a complete stop. A loaded truck stops quicker than one that is empty because the load provides extra traction to the tires.
Actual stopping distance calculations of a tractor-trailer after a semi-truck accident are usually done by an accident reconstruction expert and based upon specific calculations such as the weight of the truck, the condition of the road surface, and other factors such as the response time for the truck driver to hit the brakes.
The moral of the story here is that drivers should be extremely cautious of pulling in front of a tractor-trailer or allowing a big rig to follow them from the rear. A cautious driver will position their vehicle so they are not being followed closely by a semi-truck.
The good news is that most commercial truck drivers are very professional and safe in their driving.
Nevertheless, allow a comfortable cushion for any commercial vehicle following you on the highway.
CALL TOLL-FREE 1-866-758-4529 FOR A CONSULTATION ON A TRUCK ACCIDENT CASE.
About Greg Baumgartner