Trucks are larger, so it's size and speed that can cause serious injuries. The damages can be even worse depending on the weight of the cargo the truck is carrying. Smaller vehicles could get crushed. For example, a fully-loaded truck can weigh as much as 40 tons. That is 38 tons heavier than your car. This means that a truck needs twice the stopping distance you need and even longer if the roads are wet.
How long does it take for a semi-truck to stop?
Another point to consider is that stopping distance increases when speed increases. It takes trucks about 50% longer to stop when it is traveling at 65 miles per hours, as compared to it going at around 55 miles per hour. Also, trucks may appear to be going slower than they actually are because of the truck's size. Do not underestimate stopping distance when you are driving in front of or behind a truck. Just imagine when semi-truck drivers try to stop to avoid traffic accidents and can't stop in time. The aftermath could be catastrophic.
How to reduce the chances of a truck accident
Roads are shared by everyone. We need to do our part to try and prevent car and truck accidents. Here are a few ways you can stay safe when driving with semi-trucks:
- Stay visible. Maintain a safe distance when driving behind a truck. Make sure you can see both of the truck’s side mirrors. If you can, then make sure the driver’s face is in the mirror. That way you know they can see you. However, if you cannot see the side mirrors, then that means you need to widen the gap. Never tailgate a truck. If you do, you might not have enough time to stop if they stop suddenly.
- Avoid sudden movements. Use your signal when you change lanes or turn. This allows the truck driver to see you and give them sufficient time to respond.
- Move out of the no-zones or truck’s blind spots. These areas are along both sides of truck that rearview mirrors cannot reach. These areas are much larger than passenger vehicles. These are spots where the driver cannot see you regardless of any signals you make.
- Never push your vehicle when the truck is making a turn. Trucks have a wide turn radius, especially when making a right turn. Trucks need to swing wide when turning due to its length. If your car is on the truck's right side when it is trying to turn right, there's a chance the truck will hit you.
As a Kentucky Truck Accident Attorney, I would like to remind motorists to stay alert. We all want to reach our destination safely. Whether you’re driving big or small vehicle, let’s all work together to making roads accident-free.