What Are Runaway Truck Ramps For?

June 15, 2023

If you’ve ever driven along a mountain road, you may have seen ramps designed to stop large trucks. These ramps are often made from gravel or sand and are meant to slow the truck’s momentum down a steep grade. These ramps are sometimes filled with materials that create a lot of friction, and the depth of these materials increases as a truck drives into it.

Typically, truck drivers enter these ramps only as a last resort when they experience brake failure and the brakes cannot be reactivated. The sudden halt caused by these ramps is not gentle and can damage the vehicle, but it beats the alternative of driving down a hill out of control and causing a deadly accident.

Runaway truck ramps are a great safety feature to have on roads with steep grades and long descents, as they can help prevent accidents involving massive vehicles that could have disastrous consequences for the rest of the traffic on the road. However, it’s important for truck drivers to always keep their brakes in good working order so they don’t need these emergency ramps.

A truck ramp is a special area that utilizes sand, gravel or wire netting to quickly decelerate a heavy-load truck when the brakes malfunction. It can be found on highways and other roads with a steep incline, and it’s especially common in areas where truck drivers regularly encounter brake problems because of the long grade and high load they are hauling.


Traffic Dave is on a mission to help traffic engineers, transportation planners, and other transportation professionals improve our world.
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