RMS: Fall Behind to Get Ahead

Your biggest risk could be right in front of you. Canal analysis shows that almost one in three serious accidents involve a rear-end collision. They often happen even with a fully engaged, attentive driver.


Any chance you or your drivers follow too closely?

  • The average driver response time is ¾ of a second – meaning it takes that much time to first recognize a hazard and then engage the brakes. During that literal split second, a truck going 65 miles per hour can travel an average of 71 ft.
  • When this reaction time and actual required stopping distance are combined, it’s clear that large trucks require significant space for safe braking. Again at 65 miles per hour in ideal conditions, a fully loaded tractor-trailer weighing 80,000 lbs. needs approximately 525 ft. (almost two full football fields) to fully stop.
  • Of course, the required following distances – the amount of space needed between vehicles – should increase when there are adverse conditions, including compromised road surfaces and bad weather such as rain, ice or snow.
  • Space saves lives. The larger the following distance achieved by the driver, the more room available to react in a dynamic driving environment. Ultimately, drivers who leave adequate space have a much greater chance of coming home accident-free.

In the end, going the extra mile for safety sometimes means going that extra mile a few feet further behind!



Source: https://www.udot.utah.gov/trucksmart/motorist-home/stopping-distances/