Law

Truck Stopping Distance vs. Car Stopping Distance

A car can stop at a shorter distance than a large truck and still not be in danger of rolling over. When you see an 18-wheeler coming toward you at high speed, the difference between your vehicle’s stopping distance and the truck’s stopping distance is substantial.

The larger the vehicle, the more momentum it takes to stop it. A car has less momentum than a truck or an 18-wheeler, so its stopping distance will be shorter. Also, because trucks are loaded with cargo, their center of gravity is higher than most cars, making it easier to roll over if they have to make a quick stop.

The average car stops at 23 feet from 60 mph, while the average 18-wheeler takes 97 feet to stop at that same speed. Carrying a load increases this number. Carrying a full load of 10,000 pounds can increase stopping distances by up to 26 percent.

How much longer does it take a truck to stop than a car?

It depends on the speed difference between the truck and car. A car traveling at 40 mph can stop in 320 feet, while an 18-wheeler traveling at 55 mph will need 587 feet.

The difference in stopping distance can be pretty significant. At 30 mph, a fully-loaded 18-wheeler takes about 277 feet to stop, while a car takes about 195 feet. At 70 mph, the truck will need an extra 815 feet to stop.

How long does it take for a truck to stop from 60 mph? How far will it travel before stopping?

A fully loaded 18-wheeler traveling at 60 mph requires 476 feet to stop. It means it will travel about 0.34 miles on the highway before stopping.

How does cargo affect stopping distance?

Cargo can have a significant impact on stopping distance. A fully loaded 18-wheeler traveling at 55 mph will need an extra 98 feet to stop. Carrying 10,000 pounds of cargo increases the truck braking distance by up to 26 percent.

Why does it take the truck longer to stop than the car?

Trucks are larger and heavier than cars, so their momentum is greater when traveling at the same speed. The truck also requires more time to brake because of its longer stopping distance.

How fast does an 18-wheeler have to be going to roll over?

Falling cargo can cause the truck to roll over if it hits something before it completely stops. Cargo often falls to the truck’s front because of its forward center of gravity. If this happens, the truck could roll over when it makes a sudden stop.

Does stopping distance depend on weather conditions?

Weather conditions do not have an impact on stopping distance. Rather, they affect vehicle control. Ice and snow can cause drivers to lose control of their vehicles, leading to a collision with the 18-wheeler if it cannot stop in time.

Final notes

The stopping distance for a car and an 18-wheeler can be vastly different. The faster the car and truck go, the longer it takes for either vehicle to stop. If you find yourself behind an 18-wheeler on the highway, keep a safe distance between your car and the truck, so you have time to react if something goes wrong.

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