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Semi-trucks take twice as long to stop as cars

You have probably heard people say that many train accidents cannot be avoided, at least not by those on the train. This is because some trains take over a mile to stop. If a car gets stuck on the tracks in front of it, they simply can't stop before a collision.

To a lesser degree, semi-trucks face the same problem. They have very long stopping distances, compared to cars. This can lead to accidents if a driver does not react quickly enough or does not leave enough room between the truck and the next car. For instance, a driver who does not detect that traffic stopped ahead of the truck until the last second may slam on the brakes and still rear-end a vehicle in the road.

The problem is weight. Your standard passenger car clocks in between 3,000 pounds and 4,000 pounds. That means that, if it is going 65 miles per hour, it should stop in about 316 feet. That's still just over an entire football field.

A semi-truck, however, can weigh as much as 80,000 pounds. At the same speed, that truck is not going to stop for around 525 feet. That extra 200 feet is about two-thirds of another football field.

These examples also assume that conditions are perfect. If the roads are slick with rain, snow, slush or ice, stopping distances extend even farther. If the truck's brakes are old and worn out, that can extend the distances as well.

Have you been hit by a tractor-trailer? If so, make sure you know what rights you have to seek financial compensation.

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