More than 40 years of combined experience

A group photo of Smith Shanklin Sosa's attorneys

How much distance does it take a truck to stop?

On Behalf of | Apr 14, 2023 | Motor Vehicle Accidents

One of the most dangerous types of truck accidents to be involved in is when a semi-truck strikes another vehicle from behind. For example, say that a passenger car encounters a traffic backup in a work zone. They pull to a halt behind a dump truck. But then a semi-truck crashes into that smaller car from behind, crushing it against the back of the dump truck.

This type of accident can be very devastating for those in the smaller vehicle, who are going to suffer far more severe injuries. In many cases, the crash occurs simply because it takes a semi far longer to stop than a passenger vehicle.

The average stopping distance is 525 feet

There are a lot of factors to consider with each truck, but some reports say that they take an average of 525 feet to come to a halt. This is significantly more than the 300 feet needed by most passenger vehicles. Much of the reason for it is simply that semi-trucks can weigh up to 80,000 pounds, and it’s hard to slow down that much mass – as opposed to a passenger car, which may only weigh 4,000 pounds.

For this reason, it’s quite important for drivers to be able to react properly to things that happen ahead of them. If a driver is impaired by alcohol and has a slow reaction time, it may be physically impossible to stop the truck before they collide with the vehicle ahead of them. This is also why the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) regulates the use of handheld devices. A driver who gets distracted because they’re texting and driving may look up at the road and suddenly find that there’s no way to stop before they have caused a chain reaction crash.

Do you need to seek compensation?

Those who have been injured in these types of accidents may have extensive medical bills. They could also be facing costs like lost wages or lost earning capacity. If you find yourself in this position, be sure you know how to seek financial compensation.