Many people inherently feel like they are in greater danger when they are driving next to a semi truck. If you’re in a small car on the interstate, the truck feels dauntingly larger. The air disturbance that it causes can even make your car move sideways on the highway. People will often simply try to pass trucks and put them behind them.
This can be wise, to be sure, and it is better to pass a truck than to risk driving in its blindspot. However, it’s also important to know that you could face severe risks from the trucks that are behind you, so the one in your rearview mirror could actually be the one that poses the greatest danger.
Long stopping distances
One reason for this is that semi trucks have long stopping distances that are typically in excess of 500 feet. And in some cases, they take almost twice as long to stop as passenger vehicles.
This means that there is no room for error. Say that you’re driving on the interstate, you pass a semi, and then you come over a hill to find that there is a traffic backup at a road construction zone. You slow down with plenty of distance between you and the next vehicle, but the truck driver must hit the brakes immediately to be able to stop in time. If there is any delay, they may not be able to bring the truck to a halt before rear-ending your vehicle.
This can be incredibly dangerous because a truck may weigh as much as 80,000 pounds, so it can inflict serious damage on another vehicle, even at low speeds. Additionally, shorter vehicles are at risk of being hit and sliding under higher semi trucks, which is known as an underride accident. Because of the way that the passenger compartment is directly impacted, underride accidents are some of the most dangerous types of crashes that can occur.
What are your options?
If you have suffered serious injuries in a crash with a semi truck, or if a loved one has passed away, you must know how to seek financial compensation.