We have all felt the discomfort of driving when the car behind us is too close. Tailgating truckers are even more frightening. Truckers should never tailgate because big rigs take longer to stop.
When truck drivers obtain their Commercial Driver’s License (CDL) they receive very specific instructions not to tailgate.
The CDL informs truck drivers that they should keep at least one second for each 10 feet of vehicle speed when they are traveling below 40 mph.
At higher speeds, drivers should add one second for safety. A driver behind the wheel of a 40-foot trailer needs four seconds between his truck and the vehicle ahead.
To know how much space he has, a trucker should wait until the vehicle ahead passes a shadow on the highway, such as a pavement marking and count of the seconds in the form of “one-thousand-and-one, one-thousand-and-two,” until he reaches the same spot.
The trucking industry teaches drivers to abide by the six-second rule. In good weather conditions, it’s recommended that a big rig travels six seconds behind a lead vehicle due to its size and weight. A truck takes longer to stop because it has air brakes. This can result in an additional 0.5 second lag in stopping.
It takes the equivalent of two football fields for an 18-wheeler to stop at 55 mph. In bad weather, that stopping distance can be far longer. If a trucker is tired, following close behind can be very risky.
If a truck is tailgating, a vehicle in front of it and it has to stop suddenly, there is a very high risk that it will crash into it. We all have a right to be safe from tailgating truckers.
Drivers should always keep their distance and remain in control of their trucks. Tractor-trailers often carry loads that weigh as much as 200,000 pounds. A sudden movement or a loss of control can cause the load to shift and the truck to become unbalanced. We have seen accidents in which truckers veered across a center line and hit other vehicles with tragic consequences.
Truck accidents often leave multiple victims. We would like to hear from you if you were hurt in a trucking wreck anywhere in Virginia or in North Carolina. Tailgating truckers may be liable for injuries suffered by those who they hit. Their trucking companies may also be liable. Call me today at (866) 455-6657.