West Virginia drivers typically encounter all sorts of vehicles while on the highways and streets. In addition to being focused on their own driving, motorists must be constantly on the watch for danger coming from others. This is never more critical than when sharing the roadway with large transport trucks.
Tractor trailers can weigh up to 80,000 pounds when fully loaded. Therefore, therefore, these big rigs require substantially more braking distance than smaller vehicles. In dry conditions, a cargo truck with good tires and good brakes traveling at highway speeds will require about 600 feet — that’s two football fields –before it can stop. If road conditions are less than ideal and the tires or brakes are worn, stopping distance can be substantially increased. Well-trained truckers are trained to keep a safe stopping distance between themselves and other vehicles, but this can be impossible when passenger vehicles cut them off. Such actions put the smaller vehicle in grave danger if a quick stop is required.
Truckers also spend long hours behind the wheel, which is both tiring and stressful. Maintaining focus is critical for highway safety, but even the best of truckers make mistakes. For these highway behemoths, even a momentary lapse can have deadly consequences.
Motorists should understand there is no way to know whether a truck driver one lane over is at the beginning or end of a shift. It’s also difficult to know how well the truck’s safety equipment is functioning. That’s why all motorists should be alert and careful when driving next to a big rig.
Whenever there is a trucking crash, the risk of serious damage is high. For this reason, anyone injured would be well-served to retain an experienced trucking accident lawyer. A qualified advocate can make sure injured parties are fully compensated and help hold negligent trucking companies accountable.