Truck Crashes Caused by Failure to Maintain a Safe Distance
Many truck accidents are caused by a driver’s failure to maintain a safe following distance. Due to their large sizes and weights, trucks require significantly more time to stop than do passenger vehicles. Operators must allow plenty of space to stop safely in an emergency, and failure to do so could make them liable in the event of an accident.
Maintaining a Safe Distance
Trucks require about one third more distance than passenger vehicles to come to a complete stop. This risk is amplified by weather conditions that limit visibility and traction, such as fog, mist, rain, or ice. Other factors that may contribute to these accidents include:
- Speeding. Truck drivers are under constant pressure to meet strict delivery deadlines, which encourages them to speed. Vehicle speed has a huge impact on stopping distances, dramatically increasing the risk of a collision.
- Distracted and careless driving. The use of smartphones and other electronic devices can easily distract truckers, leading to serious accidents when they follow other vehicles too closely.
- Driver fatigue. Truck operators often work long hours with little sleep. Fatigued drivers have reaction times similar to those of drunk drivers, which may prevent them from stopping quickly enough to avoid an accident.
- Driving under the influence of alcohol or drugs. As with driver fatigue, drugs and alcohol slow a trucker’s reaction time, increasing his stopping distance.
- Malfunctioning or failing equipment. Trucking companies sometimes try to save money by skipping routine vehicle inspections and maintenance. When this happens, a brake or tire failure could prevent a trucker who is following too closely from stopping in time.
Rear-end truck collision victims may suffer serious medical conditions, including broken bones, neck and back injuries, head injuries, lacerations, and internal injuries. If you’ve been hurt due to a truck driver’s failure to maintain a proper distance, you need representation by an experienced vehicle accident attorney. To discuss your claim, contact the law offices of Steve M. Lee, P.C., by using the form on this page.