If you’ve ever been surrounded by semi-trucks and suddenly found yourself anxious, you’re not alone. These massive vehicles can strike fear into the bravest amongst us, and for good reason. When driven negligently, semi-trucks can cause a massive amount of devastation. Not only can vehicles be completely destroyed in truck accidents, but victims can suffer serious injuries. The worst cases result in death. On top of that, truck accidents are more common than many individuals think.

One reason for their frequency is the increased distance required to safely bring these vehicles to a stop. Whereas a car may be up to 18 feet in length and weigh up to 4,000 pounds, a semi-truck can be as long as 65 feet and weigh 80,000 pounds. This means that a car that is traveling at 40 miles per hour will need approximately 125 feet to come to a safe stop. A semi-truck traveling that same rate of speed will need almost 170 feet to stop safely. When speeds increase to 65 miles per hour, a car will need 316 feet, and a big rig will need 525 feet. The difference is almost the length of a football field.

These distances can be increased if certain factors exist, too. Bad weather, inattentiveness and intoxication can all decrease an individual’s recognition and reaction times, which can increase stopping distances significantly.

Sadly, this means that many individuals wind up being seriously injured in wrecks that could have been avoided if only the trucker had remained sober and alert behind the wheel while carrying an understanding that his or her vehicle needs additional room to come to a safe stop. Those who are hurt in these wrecks may be able to recover compensation for their damages, though, if they are able to show negligence in causation. To learn more about what that entails, victims can speak with a legal professional of their choosing.