Tailgating poses a huge danger for all drivers but, especially, for drivers of large trucks and tractor trailers, as these vehicles are far more difficult to stop than smaller automobiles. Truckers need to be aware of the dangers posed by tailgating and avoid this unsafe driving practice.
Passenger vehicles traveling at 60 mph need at least 240 feet to come to a safe stop – and that’s when road conditions are good. The first 60 feet is taken up by the driver’s reaction time – that is, the driver’s realization that he or she needs to stop. The remaining 180 feet is taken up by the driver applying the brakes and slowing the vehicle. Drivers of big trucks and semis need even more space to come to a complete stop because of the weight and momentum of their vehicles.
To Avoid Tailgating
- Big trucks traveling slower than 40 mph should leave one second of distance for every 10 feet of their vehicle’s length. You can gauge seconds of distance by making note of a landmark and how many seconds it takes after the vehicle in front of you passes the landmark for you to pass it. For example, if your vehicle is 40 feet long, there should be four seconds between your vehicle and the one in front of you.
- If you’re traveling faster than 40 mph, add an additional second. That means that if you’re driving a 60 ft. vehicle 60 mph, you should leave seven seconds between your vehicle and the lead vehicle.
- In rain or snow, increase your driving distance. Wet, slick roads will increase the distance needed for you to safely stop your vehicle. Add a few seconds to your following distance in adverse conditions to improve safety.
- Accelerate slowly from stops. Flooring the gas will make it more likely that you may get too close to the vehicle in front of you.
Tailgating poses a serious threat to highway safety. According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, nearly a quarter of all automobile crashes are rear-end collisions. These accidents result in almost a million injuries and 2,000 deaths each year.
In addition to safe driving practicing, truck drivers can improve their safety by having the right truck seats and accessories. Suburban Seating & Safety is a trusted provider of truck seats and truck interior accessories. A family-owned business, Suburban Seating & Safety has been a trusted supplier since 1947. To learn more about the company and its wide line of products from respected manufacturers, call 1-844-SAS-SEAT.