This is the question of the day, and the answer may not be a flat out “no,” due to modern technology. For years, the rumor that trucks can stop on a dime has been floating around. And until a fairly recent development by Volvo, that sentiment was not at all true.

The Reality of Stopping

Here’s the thing: a car is anywhere from 12 to 18 feet long and weighs somewhere between 3,000 and 4,000 pounds, depending on the type of car it is. At 65 miles per hour, the average car, with brakes in good condition, takes approximately 360 feet to come to a complete stop. Now, let’s compare that to a truck.

Trucks can be anywhere from 70 to 80 feet long, and their weight when carrying a load can be as much as 80,000 pounds which are about 20 times the weight of a heavy car. On average, trucks need more than 500 feet to safely come to a full stop.

Trucks of the Future

While the vast majority of trucks on the road today still need hundreds of feet to stop safely, technology is being developed to make the roads safer and allow trucks to stop amazingly fast. The technology demonstrated in the Volvo system could save hundreds of lives around the world, but, of course, such technology is pricey, and it will take time to catch on. Even when it does, there will still be trucks on the road that are not equipped with the stop-on-a-dime technology. Drivers need to be aware of this and drive accordingly.

Keep Your Distance

Now that you know trucks really can’t stop on a dime, be sure you give trucks plenty of room to stop safely. If you don’t, the result can be disastrous.  Remember that it takes nearly the length of two football fields for a loaded truck to come to a full stop. Since you don’t know whether or not the truck is fully loaded, it’s always best to assume that it is.

Truckers have special training in order to be able to drive those big rigs. They take on a lot of responsibility, and they want the roads to be safe, just like everyone else. Everyone on the road has to exhibit respect and courtesy, and use good judgment in order for the roads to be safe for everyone.

The attorneys at Frohlich, Gordon & Beason, P.A., provide expert legal assistance in personal injury cases. If you or your loved one has a personal injury case and needs legal consultation, please contact us. The initial consultation is complimentary. We provide caring legal service for residents of the southwest Florida region, including Port Charlotte, North Port, and Englewood.