Safety Saturday

Stopping Distance of Trucks

The brakes on trucks operate differently than the brakes on your normal car. Understanding how they work and why it’s important to give trucks space on the road can prevent collisions, serious injuries, and worse. Today’s Safety Saturday moment explains the stopping distance of trucks.

There are three elements to Total Stopping Distance.

  • The first is Perception Distance: which is the distance a vehicle travels as the driver identifies something they will need to slow down or stop for.
  • The second is Reaction Time: which is the time it takes for the driver to react to the decision to slow down.
  • The third is Braking Distance, which is how far the vehicle travels from when the driver begins braking to fully stopping. 

Trucks have air brakes, which means they have to factor in brake lag. This means trucks have an increased stopping distance and should be given plenty of space on the road since they cannot brake quickly for sudden hazards.

Until next time, from all of us at the W. L. French Safety Department, stay safe out there.

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