Why Trucks Should be Careful Going Downhill

large semitruck driving downhill on a curve

3 Reasons Downhill Driving is Dangerous for Trucks

Driving downhill can be dangerous for any motorist, but truck drivers have to take extra precautions to avoid an accident on these steep declines. Regardless if you just obtained your CDL or are an experienced truck driver, it is important for you to understand the dangers of driving downhill and how you can ensure your safety.

1. It’s Easier to Lose Control

For any driver, going downhill can pose a greater risk of losing control of your vehicle. When driving a 40-ton truck, the force of gravity is that much stronger and requires you to rely on your brakes and steady hands for safety.

Although municipalities do their part in posting signs warning of steep declines, it is the motorist's responsibility to adjust their driving habits accordingly.

2. It Takes Longer to Stop

As mentioned previously, you essentially have to work against gravity as a truck driver to ensure that you make it downhill safely. Because of this, your velocity nearly doubles, which means it will take you twice as long to come to a complete stop as it would going uphill or on a flat road.

3. Hot Brakes Can Cause More Damage

Most truck drivers learn in their training how to properly avoid hot (or overheated) brakes when driving downhill. However, this is still a pervasive issue; in fact, a study conducted by the Commercial Vehicle Safety Alliance found that nearly 50% of trucks at roadside inspections had brake-related violations.

When brakes become overheated, your chances of having total brake failure increases. To combat this, understand what may be a sign of hot brakes and when to get them checked:

  • Smoking
  • Burning smell
  • Squealing any time you brake

If your brakes show any of these signs, pull over and call for assistance.

Savannah Truck Accident Attorneys

Roadway safety should be a top priority for any driver—especially those tasked with driving large trucks. Driving recklessly when going downhill not only increases your chance of a truck accident but also hinders the safety of other drivers on the road.

If you or a loved one have been injured by another driver's negligence, call (912) 809-5335 to schedule a free consultation with Jamie Casino Injury Attorneys.

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