When a commercial truck driver steps behind the wheel of an 18 wheeler the responsibility as a professional driver is different from that of the normal person driving their passenger car. A tractor-trailer can weigh up to 80,000 pounds without a special permit.
An 18 wheeler takes longer to stop than a passenger car, as a rule of thumb it takes a semi truck about one-third longer to stop than a car or pickup truck. This makes the reaction time and speed of the commercial vehicle critically important.
Speeding and driver distractions are the two most frequent causes of commercial vehicle accidents. Many trucks have what is called “black box” event data recorders on board the tractor. Special equipment is needed to download the evidence after a truck accident and if the vehicle does have an event data recorder speed is one of the items that will be shown from the computer chip.
18 wheelers typically set up higher than what most other vehicles which offer a better view of the roadway ahead and allows a truck driver more time to prepare for traffic stopping in front. Rear end truck accidents, jackknife accidents and rollover accidents all can be attributed in some cases to improper speed.
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