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Do Trucks Have a Shorter Stopping Distance?

Why Large Trucks Require More Space to Stop Safely

Many people don’t realize that the stopping distance for a large truck is much longer than the stopping distance for a car. It can take a truck up to twice as long to come to a complete stop. Here’s what you need to know.

What Impacts a Large Truck’s Stopping Distance?

Several factors impact a truck’s stopping distance. First, trucks are much heavier than cars, which means they have more momentum and require more time and space to come to a complete stop. Second, trucks have larger tires than cars, which means they have more contact with the road and can provide more traction. However, this also means that trucks are more likely to experience tire blowouts, which can further impact their stopping distance.

Finally, the speed at which a truck travels will also impact its stopping distance. The faster a truck goes, the longer it will take to stop. This is why it’s so important for truck drivers to always obey the speed limit and leave plenty of space between their trucks and the vehicle in front of them.

What is the Stop Distance of a Large Truck?

A fully-loaded tractor-trailer can weigh up to 80,000 pounds. That’s the equivalent of 40 tons! Vehicles of this weight and size will need significantly more room to come to a safe, complete stop. According to the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA), trucks traveling 65 miles per hour will need up to two football field lengths to stop.

How Much Space Should You Give A Truck in Front of You?

Now that you know how long it takes for a truck to stop, you might be wondering how much space you should give a truck when driving behind it. The answer is quite a bit. The FMCSA recommends leaving at least one second for every 10 feet of vehicle length when driving under 40 miles per hour. When traveling over 40 miles per hour, leave one additional second. On wet or slippery roads, give the truck even more space.

What to Do After a Truck Crash

Being involved in a truck crash is devastating and can mean sustaining a catastrophic injury. If you or someone you know has been hurt in a truck crash, know that legal help is available to ensure you receive compensation for your injuries. At Caputo & Van Der Walde LLP, our San Jose truck accident lawyers are ready to assist you throughout the legal process and protect your rights.