While any driver on Virginia’s roads needs to leave enough space between other vehicles, truckers in particular should make sure that they have enough time to stop for cars and other hazards in the road.
Just by the laws of physics, a truck will take longer to stop than a car assuming the car and truck are traveling at the same speed. Especially when fully loaded, trucks weigh much more, and so have more momentum.
The higher the speed, the bigger will be the difference in stopping distance between a tractor trailer and an average-sized passenger car. For example, at 65 miles per hour, a tractor trailer can stop in 525 feet once the driver applies the brakes.
This stopping distance is the length of close to 2 football fields when one also considers the length of the tractor trailer. By contrast, a car takes about the length of 1 football field to stop.
Slowing down even 10 miles per hour reduces a large truck’s stopping distance considerably. For example, a truck traveling at 55 miles per hour requires a total of 335 feet to stop while a car traveling at the same speed requires 225 feet to stop.
Truck drivers need to pay attention to the road and drive awake and alert
Truckers in the Danville area are well-advised to slow down and make sure to leave plenty of distance between the tractor trailer and other vehicles.
However, how fast any vehicle, including a commercial truck, can stop depends also on how soon a motorist sees a hazard.
In other words, a driver who either is not fully awake, is under the influence or is distracted will require much longer to stop for a hazard than would a driver who is paying attention.
If a truck driver cannot avoid an accident because of inattentiveness, then he or she may have to pay compensation to victims.