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Large commercial vehicles need to be driven slowly


Although many drivers in the Tampa area are likely tempted to speed, particularly if they are running late for an appointment or are just eager to get home from work after a long day.

In particular, drivers of large commercial vehicles, who often are under a time crunch to get the people or products they are hauling from Point A to Point B, may be tempted to go a few miles over the speed limit or what they know to be a safe and reasonable speed for the road conditions.

These drivers must resist the urge to speed for the sake of the safety of those around them on the road and, if they are carrying passengers, those people who have entrusted their own safety to that driver.

There are two reasons, both based in science, as to why it is more important for commercial drivers to keep the foot off the gas. For one, because they weigh more, it is always going to take longer for a commercial driver to stop his or her vehicle in the event of an emergency.

For instance, at 65 miles per hour, it will take a truck 452 feet to come to a complete stop after the driver brakes at full force. Even if the driver is following at a safe distance, there will rarely be enough space for a trucker to stop in an emergency without hitting something, and the 452 feet may not even be enough for a truck to stop safely without jackknifing. The amount of time it takes to stop increases exponentially as speed increases.

The recons reason is that large vehicles weigh a lot more, sometimes 20 times more, than a sedan or other passenger vehicle. This means more momentum, which means more extensive damage, and the possibility of serious injuries, after a truck or other commercial vehicle accident. The exact amount of momentum a vehicle has depends on both speed and weight, so a reduced speed can help reduce the force of impact should an accident occur.

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