Semi-truck drafting is a dangerous maneuver used by drivers of smaller vehicles in an effort to reduce air resistance and improve their overall fuel efficiency. Typically performed on highways, it involves closely following behind a large semi-truck or tractor-trailer in order to capitalize on the reduced drag created by the lead vehicle. As gas prices rise, truck drafting becomes a more common practice, creating a dangerous situation for all vehicles on the road.

When a large truck moves at a high rate of speed, it creates a wind disturbance, reducing air drag in its wake. Vehicles closely following inside a truck’s “low pressure pocket” are thought to have improved fuel economy since it requires less energy to maintain speed. However, the efficacy of truck drafting has been a hotly contested issue with a mixed consensus as to whether the practice actually works.

Drafting can be extremely dangerous as it requires following a lead vehicle at an unsafe distance. Drivers are susceptible to sudden braking or other unexpected maneuvers by large rigs, sharply reducing reaction times and increasing the risk of a violent collision.

It should be noted that in Indiana, drafting falls under the state’s distance restriction laws (Indiana Code § 9-21-8-14 2022), and is therefore considered an illegal practice.

Drafting also violates the “three-second rule,” which is a general safety principle used to maintain a safe following distance behind a vehicle. It helps drivers to ensure they have enough time to react and stop if the vehicle in front suddenly slows or stops. The idea is that by following behind a vehicle by at least three seconds, a driver will have adequate time and space to brake safely should there be any unexpected actions.

Large trucks, often weighing tens of thousands of pounds, surpass the mass of other vehicles on the road, especially when traveling at higher rates of speed. The consequences of such accidents are incredibly severe, with the capacity to inflict substantial damage or even crush the smaller vehicles in their path.

If you or a loved one have been in an accident due to the reckless actions of another driver, contact Hurst Limontes to explore your legal options. With over 116 years of combined experience, our seasoned team of attorneys are capable of handling even the most complex personal injury claims. We operate on a contingency basis, which means there is no fee unless we secure a settlement or jury verdict on your behalf.

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