A truck is a commercial vehicle that is considerably huge and could cause significant damage on the road when an accident occurs. As a result of the possible danger these trucks can pose to road users, they need to be regulated. To prevent accidents, truck drivers need to adhere to rules regarding the distance they should cover, the breaks they must take, and their stopping distance.
“There is a need to put constant checks on truck drivers and ensure they adhere to the rules and regulations guiding the operations of the truck industry. So many lives and properties can be saved by simple adherence to regulations,” says truck accident attorney David Benowitz.
What is Truck Stopping Distance
Truck stopping distance is the length it would take for a truck in motion to come to a complete stop after the driver applies the brake. The truck’s stopping distance can be affected by the largeness (size) or the heaviness (weight) of the truck.
A truck’s stopping distance is calculated by the amount of time and space needed to bring a truck to a complete stop. Because of the size and weight of a truck, drivers should ensure that they keep their distance from other vehicles to avoid accidents on the road.
Factors that Affect the Stopping Distance of a Truck
#1. The Weight of the Truck
The truck’s weight is one of the factors that makes the truck take longer to stop. A truck’s stopping distance increases when the truck is carrying heavy loads. The reason is that the weight of the load makes the truck faster when moving down a hill and slower when trying to stop.
An average car weighs 5,000 pounds in contrast with a truck which weighs 80,000 pounds. It takes a truck 169 feet to come to a stop, while a car takes just 124 feet to come to a complete halt upon realizing the impending danger.
#2. The Speed of the Truck
Generally, the faster a vehicle moves while on the road, the longer it takes to come to a complete stop. To calculate the stop time, it is necessary to know the car’s speed before the accident occurs. This rule applies to trucks, cars, and commercial vehicles.
#3. Time of Reaction
Time of reaction refers to the time the driver is expected to notice and react to impending danger. Generally, drivers take 1.5 seconds to see and apply breaks ahead of risk. The only advantage truck drivers have here is that they can see danger way ahead before they occur because of their tall nature.
#4. Height and Perception
The truck’s height is another factor that affects the truck’s stopping distance. Trucks are the tallest vehicles on the road, and you would suspect that they would not have an accident.
The truck’s perspective helps the driver see further distances at an elevated position. This position should help minimize potential dangers even from smaller vehicles that use the road too but cannot perceive potential risks ahead.
#3. Poor Brake System
Most hydraulic brakes have liquids and shorten time because of the brake. This brake works well with trucks but takes more time to work in comparison to other brakes. A truck using hydraulic brakes will take longer to come to a halt.
How to Avoid Truck Accidents
Because a truck has a 98 percent chance of causing an accident, there are several steps every road user should take to avoid accidents. These steps include:
- Generally, drive with caution
- Do not cut directly in front of a truck
- Avoid blind spots because there are high chances the driver did not see you due to the size of his truck
- As much as you can, always give room for escape options when driving near trucks
- When shopping, look out for trucks and provide extra space where one is in sight
A stopping distance is the length a vehicle travels before responding to the driver’s brake application. It is usually characterized by the thinking distance and the braking distance.
The thinking distance refers to the space the car has to cover upon realizing the need to use a brake and the moment of applying them. The braking distance refers to the distance the truck has to travel from the moment the driver applies the brake until the truck stops completely.