A previous post on this blog talked about the dangers of distracted driving and how distracted drivers should be held accountable for any injuries and damage they cause as a result of rear-ending someone because they were not paying attention. This is especially true of drivers of large trucks.
After all, while a typical car weighs, at most, 4,000 or so pounds, a fully loaded semi-truck weights closes to 80,000 pounds. More weight means more momentum, and more momentum means that a semi-truck will inflict more damage in the event of an accident. What might have been a rear-end fender bender had it been between two cars can be a serious and even fatal accident when a truck is involved.
Moreover, the additional weight also means that it takes longer for a truck to stop. At highway speeds of 65 miles per hour, a truck can only stop after traveling over 450 feet. The 450 feet, which is the length of one and one-half football fields, begins after the truck makes that decision to hit the brakes in the first place.
What this means is that a truck driver in particular cannot afford to increase his or her stopping distance by not paying attention to the road. Needing over 450 feet for the brakes of a truck to take full effect means that even a split second of delayed reaction, even the time it takes to glance at a bug in the vehicle, could be the difference between an uneventful trip and a devastating truck accident.
A distracted truck driver is a hazard to both himself and to other motorists with whom he is sharing the road, particularly since it takes so much longer for trucks to stop than it does for ordinary cars. These drivers can and should be held accountable should they cause a serious accident in Orange County or elsewhere in California.