Braking Distances for 18 Wheelers Cause Many Texas Collisions

April 2, 2012
By William K. Berenson on April 2, 2012 2:32 PM |

I have represented a lot people injured when tractor trailer drivers are not able to stop their rigs suddenly, and I recently settled a case for a substantial recovery under these circumstances. My client, a college student, was rear ended by an 18 wheeler driver who I proved was exceeding the speed limit and had engaged his speed control in a construction zone on Interstate 35 in Waco, and that he was not a qualified driver, and I am delighted that she was so pleased with the way her mediation and case turned out (See more client's reviews on my web site under the Testimonials tab at the top.)

We have to figure out a way to stop these from happening -- or at the very least, curtail the number that do.

Yesterday, six people were injured, two seriously, in a nine vehicle chain reaction in the northbound lanes of Interstate 35W near Northeast 28th Street. Several cars had already crashed when two truck tractors hit the pile up from the rear.

The average braking distances for three axle truck-tractors pulling a two axle semitrailer traveling at 60 mph with average brakes is a total of approximately 381 feet -- or more than

the length of a football field. It takes an average of 40% more time to stop one -- and that's in good road conditions and weather. If the truck is loaded, obviouslly it takes even longer to stop it. Most of these tractors have twn 10 brakes, but the driver uses air brakes when he has to stop suddenly.

t is hard to believe that, with the technological advances, this figure has not substantially changed in the last 20 years. The National Highway Transportation Safety Administration has recommended that the brakes of all vehicles, including automobiles, semi-trucks, tractor trailers, and buses, be modified so they can stop in shorter distances.

In the meantime, if God forbid you have been injured in a collision involving a large commercial vehicle or tractor-trailer, please call me at 918-885-8000 or email me at bill@berensonlaw.com, and I will make sure you receive the recovery of money you deserve.