Braking Distance of Semi Tractor Trailer and Commercial Vehicles

Your Legal Rights When A Truck Driver Rear Ends You

In Florida and other states, a common accident on the road is the rear end accident; however, when a semi-tractor truck or heavy commercial vehicle is involved in the crash - the personal injuries are anything but ordinary or common. The size disparity of a semi-tractor trailer to most passenger vehicles on the road along with speed and other factors can lead to horrific personal injuries and a quite disturbing accident scene. It is important that commercial truck drivers operated these heavy rigs in a manner that is safe and reasonable. In particular, the commercial truck driver should operate his or her vehicle at a safe speed and keep a safe distance from other traffic so that there is enough time, distance, and braking power to keep the truck under control and to avoid crashing into other vehicles on the road.

Commercial truck drivers should know what kind of distance is required to safely stop and keep control of the truck. Even if the truck driver recognizes the danger, it takes time to stop. Generally, At 65 MPH it takes about 525 feet or more for a semi-tractor truck to stop.

Factors Affecting Stopping Distance
  • Weight of the load carried
  • Condition of the truck's brakes
  • Wet pavement
  • Street conditions
  • Traction lost by absence of weight in an empty trailer
  • Movement of hazardous material or liquids within the trailer

The 525 feet may be sufficient, if the truck driver is paying attention. It usually takes more than a second for a truck driver to realize that there is a danger and step on his brakes. At 65 MPH, the commercial truck is traveling over 90 feet per second before the brakes are applied. If it takes more time for the truck driver to recognize that he needs to stop, for each second the truck will travel another 90 to 95 feet. 525 feet is a substantial distance. When a truck driver's negligence adds 90 to 95 feet per second, the danger increases.

A commercial truck driver must be alert and aware of his surroundings. When the truck driver fails to act with reasonable care, an unsuspecting driver or passenger is placed at substantial risk of a life-altering injury when a semi weighing over 20,000 pounds rear ends the back of a passenger motor vehicle. Most of these accidents can be avoided if the truck driver reacts in a timely manner. Sadly, not every truck driver is alert, well rested or paying attention to traffic.

Jacksonville Semi-Tractor Trailer Accident Lawyers

Any motorist injured by a commercial truck is urged to seek immediate legal help. With proper legal representation, an injury victim can recover costs for medical bills, pain and suffering, and lost wages. The attorneys at Wood, Atter & Wolf are ready to assist you on your truck accident injury case. Each partner of the law firm has over 25 years of experience representing injury victims and their families. David A. Wolf, partner of Wood, Atter & Wolf, is the author of 10 books including the book titled Big Trucks Big Problems - When a Truck Driver Wrecks Your Day and Life - Legal Rights of the Injury Victim and Family. This book has chapters on Commercial Driver License Requirements, Truck Driver's Logs, Weigh Stations, and Black Boxes, Medical Treatment and Follow Up, Insurance Issues and Common Questions, and other topics. You can get this book for free at Big Trucks Big Problems.

Client Reviews
David Wolf is an excellent attorney. He is my FIRST call when a problem arises. He has represented me on a few matters and guided me on others. He is responsive, professional, and compassionate. If you want a down to earth attorney who will fight for your rights, David Wolf would be a good choice for you. - Karen E.
I am writing to recommend David as counsel. Our grand daughter was injured in a family daycare and during a very difficult time David provided sound advice even when we were unsure of where to turn. David is sincere in desire to help others, is thorough in his explanation of complicated issues and is personable besides. Thanks for reaching out to us, David. We will forever be appreciative. - Mary
I called Mr. Wolf to consult him about a settlement that was being offered to me due to an auto accident. He took the time to answer all my questions in a kind and honest way, so I decided to let him handle the case. I am very happy I did. He is very nice and professional, and promptly answers emails and calls. I highly recommend Mr. Wolf. - K.H.
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David Wolf was able to resolve my situation quickly and efficiently. He is a professional attorney who is not only extremely knowledgeable but also kind and considerate. He took the time to assure me of the results and put my mind at ease. I would recommend him highly and would only retain him for other legal services. - Elyse