If you ever watch passenger car drivers on city streets or the interstate, you’ll notice that many of them don’t hesitate to pull in tight on tractor-trailers just like they do with fellow automobiles.
This tactic is dangerous when passenger car drivers do this to one another, and it’s even more so when cars do it to truckers. You might ask why. It has a lot to do with how long it takes truckers to come to a full stop after applying their brakes.
Factors that affect truck braking
Various factors may affect how long it takes for a trucker to reduce their speed after applying their brakes. One such factor is vehicle weight. Tractor-trailers often weigh as much as 10,000 pounds, which is between 20 and 30 times the weight of the average passenger cards. That weight difference affects how quickly a truck can both maneuver and stop.
Road conditions and speed also impact braking speed. A truck traveling 55 miles per hour mph along dry roadways takes on average 216 feet to reach a full stop. Of course, less than optimal roadways and truck weight can affect stopping speeds. Perception and reaction times, or when a trucker notes the need to stop and when they apply the brake, affect how long it takes a trucker to reduce their speed to zero.
Fatigue is another major factor in braking delays. Federal regulations limit how many hours per day a trucker can operate their tractor-trailer, yet fatigued driving affects braking response times and thus can cause crashes. In fact, studies show that truckers who spend more than eight hours of driving time without a break are twice as likely to get into a crash.
Options if you suffer injuries or lose a loved one in a crash
Of fatal crashes between large trucks and passenger vehicles, at least 96% of those result in the passenger car driver’s death. Georgia law may allow you to recover compensation if a negligent trucker causes you to suffer serious injuries or a loved one dies at their hands in a crash.