Most people have a basic understanding of the fact that it takes a semi truck longer to stop than a normal car, yet this seems to be forgotten thousands of times every single day. So, what's the reasoning for it? Impatience?
It's so tempting for drivers to speed past a trucker only to cut them off and.... wait for it...slam on the brakes! So many times a car will cut off a semi truck only to end up stopped at the same intersection as the trucker, just slightly ahead. What can be done to make this better?
It's a really simple answer - leave plenty of buffer room when you pull in front of a truck so that the driver has enough time to stop. It's important that drivers understand what total stopping distance means.
Total Stopping Distance = Perception Distance + Reaction Distance + Braking Distance
Let's break this down a bit further by defining each:
- Perception distance is distance needed before you the realize the need to brake
- Reaction distance is the distance the vehicle moves by the time you move your foot to the brake pedal
- Braking distance is the distance the vehicle moves while the brakes actually take effect
Just to give you an idea on the different between stopping distance for a car and truck...
- An average car weighs about 5,000 pounds and at 55 MPH takes around 140 feet to stop
- An average semi truck weighs around 80,000 pounds and at 55 MPH takes around 300 feet to stop
There's a really big difference there! We're talking a full football field vs. not quite half a football field. When you think of it in those terms it makes things very real.
Share Your Thoughts
If you're mostly a car driver, what rule do you practice to make sure you aren't cutting trucks off?
If you're a trucker, what do you do to make sure you don't cut off other trucks should you need to pass them? Share in the comments area below.