A damaged, flipped over semi-truck on the side of the road.

Limited Braking Ability of Trucks

Commercial trucks require a significant amount of space when braking. Because loaded semi-trucks are significantly larger than typical commuter cars, vehicles of this size may require 20 to 40 percent more space to come to a complete stop. In addition to being so sizeable, commercial trucks are also much more unwieldy and unstable than most cars while stopping. It is the responsibility of the truck driver to always be mindful of vehicles in front of and around them.

Unfortunately, even the most skilled and experienced truck drivers may cause accidents due to the limited braking abilities of their trucks. Because of this, it is essential to understand how the brakes of commercial trucks operate in order to keep yourself safe. Maintaining the proper following distance and knowing how much space to offer a braking truck could save your life. Read on to learn more.

Braking Distance

The ‘braking distance’ is the distance a car or truck travels between first pressing the brake and coming to a complete stop. The weight of a truck and the quality of the brakes will significantly impact a truck’s braking distance. Due to inertia, heavier objects take more time to stop when a force is applied to them, and this is no different with cars or trucks. In this example, the ‘force’ would be the brakes.

The Difference Between Truck Brakes and Car Brakes

Most cars use a hydraulic braking system, which works very quickly and efficiently once the brake pedal is pressed. Trucks, on the other hand, typically use ‘air brakes.’ Air brakes are comprised of a complicated system of storage tanks, pumps, and valves, all of which help create pressure that is applied to the wheels. This pressure is what ultimately slows down a braking truck.

Air brakes take time to activate once the pedal is pressed but create more stopping power once activated. While air brakes increase a truck’s braking distance, they are extremely helpful in managing a truck’s weight and size while stopping.

Protecting Yourself and Your Vehicle

Any collision between motor vehicles has the potential to cause serious harm. However, because cars are so much smaller, a collision between a semi-truck and a commuter vehicle can be catastrophic. Sometimes, accidents of this nature may even prove fatal.

Understanding that a truck’s braking distance is much larger than that of cars can help you to avoid being hit. It is also important to stay out of a truck’s blind spots, which are also much larger due to a truck’s size. Overall, when sharing the road with a commercial vehicle, it is generally best to avoid driving alongside them for extended periods of time. This limited visibility of trucks could increase the chances of a collision occurring.

Discuss the Limited Braking Ability of Trucks with an Attorney

If you were involved in a limited braking accident with a truck, you should contact the skilled truck accident lawyers at FSTN as soon as possible. Our attorneys have extensive experience handling cases like this and will fight tirelessly to get you the compensation you deserve. Contact our firm today to discuss your situation with a dedicated attorney.

Reach out to a Terre Haute Personal Injury Attorney Today

The financial burden that often comes with a serious injury can be too much for many people to bear. Unexpected medical debt, damaged personal property, and the sudden loss of income can impact the budgets of most families. The good news is that a successful injury claim could help reduce that financial strain after a serious accident. Get in touch with a Terre Haute personal injury lawyer with Fleschner, Stark, Tanoos & Newlin to learn more.

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