Travel down any interstate or highway in the state of Texas and you will find a large number of tractor-trailers. These big rigs generally weigh over 50,000 pounds and have sophisticated air brake systems for both the tractor and the trailer. Nevertheless, an 18 – Wheeler takes longer to stop than a passenger car or pickup truck.
SEMI TRUCK STOPPING DISTANCE
As a general rule of thumb, a big truck takes approximately 1/3 longer to come to a complete stop then a car. That is assuming that the trucks brake system is a proper operating condition and has been adequately maintained.
Additionally, a big truck is usually at least 65 feet long with the tractor and trailer combined length and can be much longer with larger sized trailers. At speeds of 65 mi./h a big truck can take up to 525 feet to stop where a passenger car would only take 316 feet. These total stopping distances include reaction time and braking distance.
Brake Lag in Big Rigs
Professional truck drivers must factor in brake lag distance when allowing a safe cushion between themselves and other traffic. Break lag is defined as the time it takes for the break signal to make it to all the wheels of the big rig. This is roughly 3 /4th of a second. Break lag distances to find as the number of feet that the truck travels before the brakes actually engage.
When adding the size of the truck with the brake lag distance, professional drivers have to ensure a greater safety cushion in order to avoid an unnecessary accident than would be expected from an average driver.
Truck Driver Training
Trucking companies or motor carriers as they are called must ensure that the drivers they put on the roadway have been adequately trained to be safe drivers. Not only must the trucking company frequently check the driving record of the drivers behind the wheel of their trucks but they must also ensure that the drivers have been properly trained in safe techniques.
Allowing a safety cushion or an assured clear distance between the truck and the other traffic on the roadway is a key part of adequate truck driver training.
If you or loved one have been injured in an accident with a semi truck and would like to speak with a tractor-trailer accident attorney call us for free no obligation consultation.
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