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Semi-trucks need more distance to stop

Semi-trucks play a pivotal role in our society. They move consumer goods across the country, allowing access to the products that we want and rely on in our day-to-day lives. However, despite their importance, these massive vehicles can pose significant risks to other motorists. A truck accident can cause not only significant property damage, but it might also leave victims with serious injuries. In the worst cases, victims may even be killed in these wrecks.

One reason that these tragic accidents occur is because trucks need significant more distance and time to come to a safe stop when compared to other automobiles. Where a car may be up to 18 feet in length and weigh perhaps 4,000 pounds, a big rig can be 65 feet long, weighing in at 80,000 pounds. To see how this affects stopping distance, let us look at an example of a car and a semi-truck each traveling at 65 miles per hour. The car will only need 316 feet to come to a complete stop. With the same reaction time, a trucker traveling the exact same speed will need 525 feet to stop. This additional two hundred plus feet is two-thirds the length of a football field.

Making matters worse, these figures are based on drivers who are fully attentive behind the wheel and to not have a significant lag in their reaction time. Unfortunately, far too often truckers are fatigued, intoxicated or distracted behind the wheel, causing an even greater potential for harm.

Those who are hurt in a trucking accident may have a lot to cope with. They may have extensive physical harm, emotional pain and suffering and financial strain caused by medical expenses and lost wages. Therefore, those who find themselves in such a situation should think about discussing the matter with a lawyer who may be able to help them find a way to protect their future. This could help injured victims hold a negligent truck driver responsible, helping victims recover compensation for his or her losses and damages.

Source: UDOT, "Trucks Need More Time to Stop," accessed on Sep. 7, 2015

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