How Far Back Should I Be From a Semi?

Posted in truck accident on July 2, 2021

How Far Back Should I Stay Behind a Truck?

One person was ejected from a car and was airlifted to the hospital after a three-vehicle crash last month in Bartow County on the northwest edge of the Atlanta metro area.

During the wreck, the Kia Soul overturned after hitting two tractors and went underneath one of the trailers, according to the Georgia State Patrol.

The State Patrol said a trooper responded to the scene of the accident around 11:45 a.m. on I-75 North at mile marker 301 in Bartow County.

The GSP said the Kia Soul had two occupants. The SUV was headed north and approaching an 18-wheeler that was moving slowly. The GSP says the driver of the Kia was allegedly following the truck too closely and collided with semi trailer’s left side. After impact, the Kia turned clockwise and hit a second big rig.

“The Kia Soul drove under the trailer and overturned as it was being struck by the trailer’s undercarriage and rear-wheel tandems,” the GSP said.

The Kia then rolled over, and the passenger was ejected. The Georgia State Patrol stated that the person was taken to Wellstar Kennestone Hospital, and the Kia’s driver was transported to Cartersville Medical Center with non-life-threatening injuries.

The Georgia State Patrol said there would be charges brought against the driver of the Kia, and noted that the first semi hit in the collision kept going after the crash.

How Long Does it Take for a Semi to Stop?

Big rigs require more space between vehicles to allow for safe braking and unexpected actions. In accidents with semis, cars following too closely frequently hit the semi in front of them, causing sever injuries.

On a clear day, a fully loaded semi traveling 60 mph will need about 370 feet to stop. That’s more than a football field. The heavier the semi and the faster it’s going, the longer it takes to safely stop. The correct following distance is at least seven to eight seconds, and accidents happen when motorists crowd the back of the semi trailer.

How Do You Determine a Safe Following Distance?

If you’re driving less than 40 mph, you should leave at least one second for every 10 feet of semi length. For an average tractor-trailer, this means four seconds between you and the leading truck. If you’re traveling over 40 mph, you should leave an additional second.

Here’s what you can do to gauge a safe following distance: Watch the vehicle in front of you pass a fixed object like a mileage marker, road sign, or landmark on the side of the road. When the semi in front of you passes the fixed object, start counting the seconds until you’ve reached the same object. This will tell you how many seconds of following distance there is between you and the semi in front of you. If you have enough space between you and the big rig in front of you, you’ll have enough time to slow down or change lanes to avoid an accident.

What About Following a Tractor-Trailer in Poor Weather?

Georgia motorists should modify their following distances to match weather conditions, road conditions, visibility, and traffic. It takes a loaded semi about a third longer to stop in ideal weather conditions when compared to a car.

Since braking distance can be greatly impacted by road surfaces, rain, and debris, you should adjust accordingly to be safe.

Speak to an Experienced Atlanta Truck Accident Attorney

Following too closely behind a semi leaves you little time to react. For instance, loose cargo that falls off a big rig can cause serious injury or death to Georgia motorists.

If you or a loved one has been injured by a, you should speak to an experienced personal injury lawyer who has successfully resolved similar types of cases. You should work with an experienced Atlanta truck accident attorney. Contact Tobin Injury Law, and we will work to get you the compensation you deserve. We know what to look for when suing a trucking company.

You can contact an Atlanta truck accident attorney 24 hours a day, 7 days a week by calling 404-JUSTICE (404-587-8423) or using our online contact form. Tobin Injury Law offers free consultations, and we’ll be glad to answer your questions.