Whenever you’re driving around 18-wheelers, one of the most fundamental things to remember is that that vehicle needs a larger space to stop. In fact, some estimates say that an 18-wheeler will need almost twice as far to stop as an ordinary car, clocking in at more than 500 feet.
Granted, there are a lot of variables here. How fast is the vehicle traveling? How much weight is the truck carrying? Have the brakes been well-maintained? How fast is the driver’s reaction time? But, as a general rule, no matter how these variables stack up, a truck is always going to need longer to stop.
A common mistake drivers make
This is important for many reasons, but one is to avoid the very common mistake of pulling in front of a truck and then hitting the brakes. This often happens as vehicles approach red lights. Cars are able to stop much faster, so trucks begin slowing down before other drivers even hit their brakes. This creates a large gap in front of the 18-wheeler, and drivers will inevitably think that it is safe to pull into this gap.
If they were pulling in front of another passenger car, that might be enough space, and that’s why they make the mistake. But since they’re pulling in front of a truck, they might be inadvertently cutting it off, and the truck will have no chance to stop in time.
Of course, even if you don’t make this mistake, you could still be hit by an 18-wheeler when the driver doesn’t brake properly or doesn’t leave a long enough following distance. If you get injured in a case like this, you need to know how to seek financial compensation for your medical bills and other costs.