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What should passenger car drivers know about truck braking?

If you've been driving long enough, then it's likely that you've seen the aftermath of a tractor-trailer and passenger car crash at some point before. These types of incidents often involve a motorist getting rear-ended by a truck. Truck wrecks often result in critical injuries or deaths for passenger car occupants. If you're wondering why these accidents often produce such serious results, it has a lot to do with truckers not having enough time to brake to avoid a crash.

The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) issued several safety tips intended to keep passenger car drivers safe when operating their vehicles alongside trucks in 2019.

One recommendation the FMCSA offered is for motorists to take time to learn more about how far trucks must travel to come to a full stop after applying their brakes. Their research shows that it can take busses and large trucks traveling as fast as 65 miles per hour (MPH) a distance as long as two football fields to stop once their operator applies the brakes.

Rain, ice or snow makes it take longer for truckers to brake. If they're carrying a heavy load, then the amount of time it takes for them to brake may be even longer.

While many truck accidents can be blamed on trucker error, the FMCSA argues that motorists also engage in negligent behaviors that put themselves at risk of being hurt or killed in a crash. Drivers do this by cutting in too close in front of trucks. Passenger car operators reduce the distance and time that a trucker has to bring their tractor-trailer to a halt when they do this.

Motorists who are fortunate enough to survive truck accidents are often left with debilitating injuries that they need a lifetime of medical care to address. Others end up being ejected from or being crushed in their vehicles. If you believe that a trucker's negligence resulted in your injuries or loved one's untimely death, a lawyer can advise you of your right to file a personal injury lawsuit in your Texas legal matter.

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