A truck that weighs as much as 80,000 pounds has more momentum than a typical passenger car. A car going 65 miles per hour can usually stop in about 316 feet. But a truck would take 525 feet to stop under the same conditions. The longer stopping distance on trucks means traffic accidents are more likely to occur if trucks follow too close or are cut off by a driver.
Truck drivers need to be aware of longer stopping distance and need to act accordingly, braking appropriately to prevent a collision. If a trucker fails to brake when he should and his negligence causes a collision, the trucking company can be held responsible for resultant injuries. Call Associates and Bruce L. Scheiner, Attorneys for the Injured at 800-646-1210 to schedule a free consultation to discuss your rights.Truck Stopping Distance Rules
The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration has regulated truck-stopping distance for decades. In 1995, the NHTSA published three final rules intended to improve the braking ability of medium and heavy vehicles. The rules addressed antilock braking system requirements and directional ability. The rules also reinstated stopping distance requirements.
Stopping distance requirements had previously existed but had been invalidated by the United States Court of Appeals in a 1978 case before the 9 th Circuit: PACCAR v. NHTSA.
Stopping distance requirements vary depending upon vehicle type and vehicles are tested under three different sample conditions:
- Loaded to Gross Vehicle Weight Rating (GVWR).
- Emergency braking conditions
The 1995 rules required air-braked trucks stop within 355 feet when stopping from 60 miles per hour under loaded to GVWR conditions. The NHTSA recently updated the rules, reducing the required stopping distance by about 30 percent. Now, a tractor-trailer going 60 miles per hour must come to a complete stop in 250 feet.
Fleet Owner reports that the new NHTSA rules are being phased in over four years starting with models in 2012. The change to the stopping distance requirement is expected to save 227 lives and prevent 300 serious injuries each year. An estimated $169 million in property-damage savings is likely to be achieved, which exceeds the cost of rule compliance.
The new stopping distance requirements can hopefully reduce accidents. However, truck drivers and trucking companies still need to maintain brakes properly and follow best practices for safe braking.A Southwest Florida Trucking Accidents Lawyer Can Help
If braking problems occur, it is important to determine who is to blame and whether the brake issue was the cause of the truck collision. A negligent trucker who makes mistakes, or a trucking company that fails to maintain brakes, can be held responsible.
Our trucking accident attorneys represent clients from offices throughout Southwest Florida, including Fort Myers, Cape Coral, Naples and Port Charlotte.
Associates and Bruce L. Scheiner, Attorneys for the Injured, has been fighting for the rights of accident victims since 1971. With more than four decade of experience, our trucking injury attorneys know how to make your case. Call today at 800-646-1210 or contact us online to schedule a free consultation.