Baltimore Truck Accident Lawyers: Long Stopping Distances

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Due to their size and weight, it takes large trucks much longer to come to a complete stop than regular cars or trucks. In fact, under ideal road conditions, it can take the distance of almost two football fields for a truck driver to bring a big rig to a complete stop. If the driver of a large truck does not have enough distance to safely stop the vehicle, the consequences to the driver, and other motorists on the road, can be devastating. The Ford Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) recently developed a campaign called, which generates awareness of a truck’s required stopping distance in an effort to prevent truck accidents. Our Maryland truck accident lawyers share the campaign’s findings.

Total stopping distance is defined as the distance a vehicle travels from the moment you apply the brakes to the moment the vehicle comes to a complete stop. There are three parts that make up stopping distance:

  1. Perception Distance: The distance needed to identify, predict, and slow down after recognizing a hazard.
  2. Reaction Time: The time it takes the driver to react to danger.
  3. Braking Distance: The distance a vehicle travels from the moment a driver applies the brakes until the vehicle comes to a complete stop.

Under normal circumstances, once a driver recognizes the need to stop, a passenger car or small truck typically takes approximately 316 feet to come to a complete stop. On the other hand, a large truck requires close to 525 feet to stop. There are a number of factors that must be taken into consideration when determining the stopping distance of a large truck, including the following:

  • Reaction Distance: This is the distance a truck travels while the driver reacts to a hazard.
  • Weight: The weight of a vehicle will also affect the distance it will need to come to a stop. Trucks can weight up to 80,000 pounds, compared to the average car, which weights approximately 5,000 pounds. This means that it takes a truck close to 170 feet to stop when traveling at 40 miles per hour, versus a car, which takes about 124 feet to stop going at the same speed.
  • Height and Perception: Truck drivers can often see a dangerous situation sooner than someone in a regular vehicle because they are sitting higher up, allowing them to see farther distances. However, when trucks are traveling too closely to other vehicles, they have less time to react to potential dangers in front of them.
  • Weather: When rain, snow, or ice creates dangerous road conditions, the distance required for a truck to stop increases significantly. Truck drivers must take this into account during inclement weather.
  • Truck Maintenance: If the truck’s tires and brakes are not well maintained and serviced regularly, this can affect the truck’s ability to stop in the required amount of time.

Maryland Truck Accident Lawyers at LeViness, Tolzman & Hamilton Represent Victims Injured in Truck Accidents

 If you have been seriously injured in a truck accident involving a large truck that was unable to safely stop before impact, contact the Maryland truck accident lawyers at LeViness, Tolzman & Hamilton as soon as possible. We will provide you with the skilled, experienced legal counsel you need in order to secure the financial compensation you deserve. For a free case review call us today at 800-547-4LAW (4529) or contact us online.

Our offices are located in Baltimore, Columbia, Glen Burnie, and Towson, allowing us to represent truck accident victims throughout Maryland, including those in Anne Arundel County, Carroll County, Harford County, Howard County, Montgomery County, Maryland’s Western Counties, Southern Maryland, and the Eastern Shore, as well as the communities of Catonsville, Essex, Halethorpe, Middle River, Rosedale, Gwynn Oak, Brooklandville, Dundalk, Pikesville, Parkville, Nottingham, Windsor Mill, Lutherville, Timonium, Sparrows Point, Ridgewood, and Elkridge.