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Anything can happen in the time it takes for a big rig to stop

Readers of this blog are probably well aware that big rigs can pose a significant threat to Pennsylvania motorists. Their sheer size can be deadly in the event of a truck accident, and even those who are fortunate enough to survive such a wreck can be left with serious injuries or permanent disability. Yet, when truck accidents are discussed, they are often mentioned in a way that leads people to believe that these wrecks are caused mainly by head-on collisions or side-swipes. Unfortunately, rear-end accidents can be just as devastating.

One reason for this is that trucks need significantly more time to stop than other vehicles. While a car may only be 18 feet long and weigh up to 4,000 pounds, a semi-truck can be 65 feet long and weigh up to 80,000 pounds. These factors can cause a truck to need more than 500 feet to stop when traveling 65 miles per hour. That is nearly the length of not one but two football fields. Even trucks traveling slowly will need significantly more space to stop. At 40 miles per hour, a truck will still need nearly 50 extra feet to come to a stop when compared to a car.

As startling as this may be, these stopping distances do not take into account any lag in reaction time due to inattentiveness or intoxication, types of negligence which occur far too often on our roadways. Therefore, there is a lot that can go wrong out there, but those who are hurt as a result of trucker negligence can take the steps necessary to hold them accountable.

Perhaps the best way to do that is to speak with an experienced lawyer who will fight passionately for the victim's rights. Armed with legal knowledge and skills, an attorney will do everything in his or her power to ensure a fair outcome is obtained for their client.

Source: UDOT, "Trucks Need More Time To Stop," accessed on May 31, 2015

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