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Truck stopping distances can increase risk of car accidents

If Michiganders get nervous when they drive near semi-trucks, they are not alone. These big rigs can be intimidating, primarily because their massive size can cause immense devastation when they are involved in an accident. Due to the risk associated with these vehicles, truckers obtain education and training to better prepare them to drive them safely. Unfortunately, some of the finer points of safe driving are often forgotten.

Amongst them is the fact that semi-trucks take significantly longer to come to a safe stop. The reason for this is mere weight of the vehicle. Whereas a passenger vehicle may weigh between 3,000 and 4,000 pounds, a semi-truck can weigh as much as 80,000 pounds. This means that a car traveling at 40 miles per hour will need 124 feet to safely come to a stop. A semi-truck traveling at the same speed will need 169 feet. When traveling at 65 miles per hour, a car will take 316 feet to stop compared to 525 feet for a semi-truck. That’s nearly the length of a football field in difference.

There are other factors that can increase a truck’s stopping distance, too. Intoxication, fatigue, and distraction may all cause a delayed reaction, resulting in a trucker not applying the brakes quickly enough to avoid an accident.

Tragically, a truck accident can leave a victim with significant damages. He or she may suffer extensive injuries, sometimes even resulting in permanent disability or death. In addition, a victim may be hit with financial losses in the form of medical expenses and lost wages. In other words, a truck accident can leave victims with serious financial hardship during a time when they need to focus on recovering their health. Fortunately, if such an accident is caused by the negligence of another, then compensation may be recoverable if one succeeds on a legal claim. To learn more about how to put forth compelling legal arguments to support one of these claim, victims may want to speak with an attorney of their choosing.

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