When a passenger vehicle is driving at highway speeds and suddenly has to stop, it is typically assumed that it will take roughly 300 feet for this to happen. That’s the length of an entire football field. It is important to note that various outside factors can influence it. The condition of the brake pads, for instance, can play a role, as can the weather conditions.
But it takes a semi-truck much longer to come to a halt if that driver is moving at the same speed and has to hit the brakes in the same manner. Again, all situations are unique and have their own factors, so it’s impossible to predict exactly how much distance this will take. But studies have found that it usually takes roughly 525 feet, which is close to being twice as far as would be needed for a passenger car.
Why is this important?
This is important for a few reasons, one of which is that drivers need to make sure that they never cut in front of trucks that are attempting to come to a stop. It often feels like there is plenty of space for someone who is used to the stopping distance their passenger car needs, but that doesn’t mean the truck driver can actually stop in time.
It’s also important for truck drivers to remain vigilant and alert, however. Because they have longer stopping distances, they must hit the brakes sooner. They must have quick reaction times. They can’t engage in distracting activities that would take their attention off of the road. When they do this, they can quickly get to a point where they can’t stop their vehicle, no matter how hard they try.
If you have been injured in an accident involving a truck, make sure you know exactly what legal options you have.