We all must exercise more care when driving at night. Hazards are less apparent at night than in the daytime, so drivers have less time to respond. The dangers of night driving are even greater when big, 18-wheel trucks are involved.
One of the most common dangers involving big trucks is over-driving headlights. That happens when a truck goes so fast that the driver does not have enough time to stop when hazards are spotted. Companies that provide trucking insurance and those that provide training materials for truckers warn against over-driving headlights at night. Likewise, state laws and Commercial Driver’s License manuals include additional requirements for driving trucks at night.
Truck drivers are expected to be able to see at least as far as they will travel in the next 12 to 15 seconds. That distance can be as little as one city block at low speed. But at the speeds typically driven on interstate highways, it can be about a quarter of a mile. Of course, weather conditions can reduce how far ahead a driver can see. Also, the total distance a truck needs to stop to avoid a hazard is a combination of the distance traveled while the driver perceives the hazard plus the distance the truck covers while the driver reacts to the need to stop plus the distance a truck, which can weigh several tons, needs for braking. As a truck goes faster, not only does it take longer to stop but it also carries more force when it strikes another vehicle or other object.
In addition, trucks are expected to use reflective tape and other materials to ensure that other drivers can see them and avoid hitting them at night whether those trucks are moving or parked.
If you have been involved in an accident with a truck at any time of day, you need legal representation from someone skilled in dealing with concepts like this. Consider calling leaders in the field, such as Stewart Bell, PLLC, of Charleston, which has successfully represented many people in cases of accidents involving trucks. The initial consultation is free, and Stewart Bell, PLLC, gets paid only if the case is successful. We are available around the clock, seven days a week. Call us toll-free at 800-342-1701.