Arrive Alive

Speed and Maintaining a Safe Operating area Around Trucks

Introduction

Few drivers have an understanding of the distance required to bring their vehicles to a complete stop. In our crash reports from emergency medical services we find many rear-end crashes caused by either the wrong speed for the conditions, inappropriate following distances or a lack of driver attentiveness.

The many crashes where smaller vehicles are rear-ended by heavy vehicles also reveal that our drivers have very little understanding of the increased stopping distance required by those driving heavy vehicles.

Few drivers of smaller passenger vehicles have ever been behind the steering wheel of a 50ton truck - if they have been they would never simply change lanes and cut into traffic in front of heavy vehicles.

It is important that we share a few important numbers with our drivers in alerting them to these risks and assisting them to share roads with trucks much safer!

Speed Conversion to Metre per Second

60 KM/H
16.67 Metres / Second
80 KM/H
22.24 Metres / Second
100 KM/H
27.80 Metres / Second
120 KM/H
33.36 Metres / Second
140 KM/H
38.92 Metres / Second

This speed does not relate to the size or mass of the vehicle! It relates to how far you travel in ONE SECOND!!!

Always remember, a fully laden truck will take a lot longer to stop and cover a far greater distance than a light vehicle.

Think about the braking ability of your truck !!

Read below for further information and food for thought as a Licensed Operator.

Here are some interesting facts relating to the “Stopping Distances” of UHCV’s (Ultra Heavy Commercial Vehicles.)

The following estimations are based on a 56 ton GVM on a 2% downhill gradient at 80kms /hour (22.24 metres per second)

A professional driver should always:

  • Use an engine brake or retarder.
  • Use the gears to retard the vehicle without over speeding the engine. (Green Band Driving Range)

And minimise the use of the foot brake (to prevent brake fade on a long downhill gradient)

From 80kms/hour applying correct driving skills, as per above parameters, could take up to

  • 200 Metres or 60 Seconds to bring a heavy vehicle to a standstill.
  • Remember this is not an emergency stop!!

Hence it is of the extreme importance for drivers to always maintain a Safe Operating area around their vehicle and sufficient following distances when sharing the road with trucks.

By: Hugh Sutherland & Andy Savage for ArriveAlive

Also view:

Sharing the Roads with Trucks

Collision Investigation and Understanding Brake Failure

Brakes, Braking and Road Safety

Following Distances and Road Safety

Loading...

Search Road Safety Articles

Latest Pages

Quad Bike Insurance and Crashes

Quad Bike Insurance and Crashes

Introduction and need for Quad Bike Insurance On the Arrive Alive Road Safety website we have given much attention to the safe driving of several modes of transport. These include motor vehicles, 4x4’s, motorbikes, bicycles and even quad bikes. We have decided to provide recommendations not

Read More

Safe Driving and Towing a Trailer Safely

Safe Driving and Towing a Trailer Safely

Introduction to trailers and safer driving in South Africa In many recent crash reports, a trailer is found somewhere on or near the crash scene. Surveys confirm that many trailer owners are not fully aware of the safest method of towing cargo. We need to recognize that safety information is important

Read More

Motorcycle Insurance and Safety on the Road

Motorcycle Insurance and Safety on the Road

Introduction South Africa is rated globally as a top travel destination. With a wide diversity of tourism hotspots across a vast landscape, it is the perfect venue for 2-wheel travel on the open road! Whether you wish to save fuel by riding to work in rush-hour traffic, enjoy a breakfast run, or

Read More

The South African Tyre Manufacturers Conference (SATMC) and Road Safety

The South African Tyre Manufacturers Conference (SATMC) and Road Safety

Who is the SATMC? The South African Tyre Manufacturers Conference (SATMC) was established in 1970 as an industry association representing the interests of the local tyre manufacturers, namely Bridgestone, Continental, Goodyear and Sumitomo and who are all owned by global tyre manufacturers. What

Read More

Truck Hijackings, Crime and Road Safety

Truck Hijackings, Crime and Road Safety

Introduction: Truck Hijackings: Investigation and Analysis In recent years we have become aware of an increase in road-related crimes. Not only have we reported on the hijackings, car theft and incidents of smash-and-grab, but have also seen the much more organized crime of truck hijacking [truck

Read More

Wheel Balance, Wheel Alignment and Safe Driving

Wheel Balance, Wheel Alignment and Safe Driving

Introduction to wheel balancing and wheel alignment Road Safety authorities have given much attention to vehicle maintenance and aspects such as tyre safety. Vehicle factors are contributing factors to road crashes - and we would like to advise vehicle owners and drivers to pay close attention to

Read More

Load More Pages

Partners

View All