If the average person were placed on a game show and quized on a variety of different vehicles in order to win $500,000 dollars on the spot if they got every answer correct, the odds are that 1 out of 80 would win. Luckily we won’t have to endure that kind of torture of losing the chance at $500,000 because of our lack of knowledge. Odds are that this opportunity of winning $500,000 from winning a random quiz are also slim to none. But what if I were to tell you that having basic knowledge of a variety of different vehicles could save a life? Would you believe it?
Let’s look at an 18-wheeler for example. An 18-wheeler or semi trailer can weigh up to 80,000 lbs when carrying a full load. Compare that to a regular passenger vehicle weighing in at around 4,000 lbs and that’s a 95% difference in weight. I’m no scientist or mathematician but I know enough to avoid going into any battle as a 4,000 lb passenger vehicle against an 80,000 lb semi.
A lot of drivers treat semi trucks or 18-wheelers the same as passenger vehicles. And by “treat the same” I mean expect them to react quickly when you cut them off or decide last minute to take a right turn when in front of them and expect them to stop in time. This misconception has lead to several accidents involving semi trucks and passenger vehicles. When you slam on your breaks, depending on the speed you were traveling at it can affect the amount of time it takes you to come to a complete stop. If you are a 4,000 lb vehicle traveling at 55 mph and slam on the breaks, you won’t stop instantly. In fact, it would take you approximately 170 feet before stopping. That’s with dry roads and decent breaks. Now take into account time to react to a situation before needing to slam on your breaks. This would amount to about 300 feet to stop your vehicle. Now imagine this data behind a 80,000 lb semi with only seconds to react to a small passenger vehicle cutting them off and slowing down to turn. The results aren’t a happy ending.
The better you know your vehicles limitations, the better you can empathise towards semi truck drivers and how limited they actually are when faced with roadside surprizes. Regardless of who’s at fault in an automobile accident, everyone wants the people involved to receive the medical care necessary to recover. If you happen to find yourself or a loved one involved in a truck accident in California, call Fisher & Talwar for the best legal representation. If you haven’t been in an accident, please take it upon yourself to be aware. To make yourself knowledgeable of other drivers and the responsibilities and limitations they do or do not have. Drive defensively. Be courteous of others. And please, please, please, do not cut off semi trucks. With this, we can all contribute to making and keeping our roads just a little bit safer.