This is why you don’t brake suddenly in front of semi trucks.
A Semi-truck driver travelling a couple miles outside of Dallas, Texas shared a frustrating dash cam video with the rest of the internet earlier this week (June 18, 2020) that subsequently made its way onto Reddit showing the frustrating moment a small car decided to brake in front of him. Although it looked like the semi-truck could brake in time, in reality, that was not the case and the Elantra and its driver presumably suffered dearly for their last-minute decision.
Check out the video for yourself below.
As mentioned, this is somewhere outside of Dallas. In Texas semi-trucks can travel up to the speed limit for cars which, in most cases, is 75-80 MPH. Because of simple physics. 73,000 pounds of tractor trailer travelling along at stone’s throw away from 100 MPH, semi-truck drivers must be super vigilant.
At the same time, Texas commuters in regular cars should know what’s happening around them at all times, especially when travelling among trucks.
In the video we see the Elantra driver overtake the truck on the left, nothing particularly wrong with that and totally within the Elantra driver’s right. But then we see the Elantra driver spot, and slow for another tractor-trailer pulled off the side.
While it might seem like a good idea to slow and avoid a parked tractor trailer on a freeway, there’s no reason for abrupt highway maneuvers, changing lanes and slowing too quickly to avoid the parked semi.
According to Utah’s DOT, as speed increases above 55 MPH it takes twice as much stopping distance for a truck compared to a car. For a fully loaded semi-truck stopping from 65 MPH, you’d need two football field lengths to stop safely.
That Hyundai Elantra was not aware of and did not give that semi-truck enough space. Not only is the semi-truck’s front damaged a bit, he has to deal with his insurance and live with whatever damage he’s caused to the Elantra and its driver.
The Elantra is a writeoff and who knows how bad the driver’s whiplash was.
The next time you’re traveling on the highway, blissful unaware of the fellow truckers sharing the road with you, hopefully this video pops up in your mind, reminding you to respect semi-trucks and give them their stopping space.