One of the potential problems with semi-trucks is that they take a long time to slow down. This is why you will often see trucks driving slowly toward a yellow or red light, with a large gap in between them and the next car. The truck driver knows that they need that entire gap to actually slow the vehicle, so it’s very problematic when other drivers try to fit their vehicles into the space.
It has been estimated that it takes more than 500 feet for a semi-truck to come to a stop. This is nearly twice as long as it will take many passenger vehicles. So what happens if a truck driver reacts too late and pushes the brakes when they don’t have a proper amount of space?
The truck can jackknife
One potential issue is that the truck can jackknife. This happens when the trailer gets out of sync with the cab. The truck can pivot on the axis between the two, making the truck close up just like a jackknife. A truck doing this has gone completely out of control, and there is very little that the driver can do to keep it from causing a collision or driving off the road.
A rear-end crash
Even if the truck doesn’t jackknife, the odds of a rear-end accident are very high. Semi-trucks are so large and unwieldy that it’s difficult for drivers to swerve and avoid accidents. They rely entirely on being able to brake in time. Once a truck is past the point where it’s not going to be able to stop fast enough, that rear-end crash becomes inevitable.
You can suffer catastrophic injuries if you get hit by a truck driver who made a mistake behind the wheel. Make sure you fully understand your legal options.