Do You Give Truckers Enough Room on the Road?
Posted on behalf of Edwards Law Firm on Jun 27, 2014 in Truck Accidents
Semis require longer stopping distance and take extremely wide turns. If youre on the road with an 18-wheeler, do you know how close is too close to follow or ride alongside a truck?
Weighing up to 80,000 pounds, trucks present a major hazard for motorists in the face of dangerous conditions. Should a semi-truck need to stop, its weight and size necessitate a much longer braking distance than a smaller vehicle to safely avoid a truck accident.
Physics says that the faster an object is moving, the more kinetic energy it has, and heavier objects will require a greater braking force to slow down this energy. This means that a truck approaching your vehicle from behind may take as far as 100 yards to come to a stop, even after the driver applies the brakes.
Are you giving drivers all around you enough room?
While truckers are the first line of defense when it comes to maintaining safe distances from other vehicles, passenger vehicle drivers have an obligation to not crowd semi-trucks or dart between cars to get around them.
Its important to keep in mind that thinking speed and braking speed are independent actions: the driver must first spot the hazard and decide that the brakes must be applied, then take physical action to apply the brakes. The time lapse between these two activities coupled with the time it takes for the brakes to stop the moving vehicle could mean disaster for a car thats in its way.
In a passenger vehicle, this lapse between thinking speed and actual brake speed may be minimal because smaller vehicles simply weigh less than a large truck. Because of this, drivers tend to underestimate the length of time it takes for a semi to come to a full stop.
When a trucker is turning, other drivers should be aware that the vehicles trailer section may swing around and cross into the next lane over. Drivers who attempt to pass these trucks put themselves in danger of colliding with the truck, typically for the sake of shaving a few seconds off of their commute.
As many hours as we, as commuters, put on the roads and highways, its important to remember that truck drivers put in far more. They may be road-weary, and are operating vehicles that are more akin to heavy machinery than a luxury sedan.
Driving defensivelyand giving truckers the room they needis the key to safely arriving at your destination.