As a general rule, it takes a passenger car about a football field – approximately 300 feet or 100 yards – to stop when driving at highway speeds. There are some variations, of course. For instance, a brand new car may stop more quickly than an older car simply because of the condition of the brake pads.
But, when considering stopping distances, it’s also important to note that semi-trucks take about 525 feet to stop from the same speed. Their weight and mass nearly double the amount of distance that they need to come to a complete stop. After all, a truck can weigh up to 80,000 pounds.
If a truck doesn’t stop in time, it could cause catastrophic injuries. Here’s what you should know:
Rear-end accidents and serious injuries
The problem for truckers is that many heavy trucks are involved in rear-end accidents. A truck driver may see the traffic ahead of them has come to a stop or slowed down, and they may begin to push the brakes. But if they do this just a split second too late, there may be nothing that they can do to actually stop the truck in time.
These types of risks only get greater when the driver has inclement weather to deal with. If the road is wet, if it’s foggy out, if there’s ice or if it’s raining, the road may not provide the proper grip. The truck may need an even greater distance to stop. Simple mistakes by the driver, such as delays in reaction time due to driver distraction, can lead to catastrophic accidents.
Exploring your options
If you’ve been injured in one of these accidents, make sure you can look into financial compensation for your medical bills and other costs.