A crash with a large truck or bus is likely to end with injuries or fatalities. In 2015, there were 91 busses and large trucks involved in deadly accidents in Louisiana, according to the Highway Safety Research Group of Louisiana State University.
Although there are countless factors that can contribute to truck wrecks, one common cause is following vehicles too closely. Big rigs require a longer distance to stop, and misjudging that distance can be deadly.
If you were injured by a truck driver who was tailgating your vehicle, contact Morris Bart, LLC in Lafayette. Our personal-injury lawyers will evaluate your collision to determine if you may be entitled to compensation for lost income, medical bills and noneconomic damages. Call 800-537-8185 to schedule a free initial consultation with an auto accident lawyer.
Until then, read on to learn the dangers of following too closely in a commercial truck:
What Counts as Following Too Closely?
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According to the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration, a truck driver is following too closely when he or she would not be able to avoid a crash if the vehicle in front brakes suddenly – even if the trucker is attentive to the actions of the leading vehicle.
According to The Large Truck Crash Causation Study, 5 percent of truck accidents are due to CMV drivers following lead vehicles too closely.
Tips from the FMCSA to Help Truckers Avoid Following Too Closely
According to the FMCSA, trucks driving 40 miles per hour should leave at least one second of following distance for every 10 feet of vehicle length. If you are driving a tractor-trailer, this translates into approximately four seconds between your truck and the leading vehicle.
If you are travelling faster than 40 miles per hour, you should add one second to your following distance.
You should further lengthen your following distance if you are driving in adverse conditions. If the road surface is uneven or the weather is poor, or if you are in heavy traffic, extend your following distance so you have plenty of time to brake if you encounter an unexpected hazard.
More Tips to Prevent Rear-End Collisions
Maintaining a safe following distance is just one way truck drivers can avoid rear-end collisions. Other effective strategies include:
- Leaving enough space between the truck and the vehicle in front when stopped at intersections;
- Monitoring the vehicle approaching from behind at intersections, and taking evasive action if it does not appear to be slowing down;
- Reducing your speed in poor weather and heavy traffic;
- And avoiding distractions.
Unfortunately, some truck drivers do not adhere to these guidelines. If you were injured by a negligent or reckless trucker in Louisiana, contact a Lafayette personal-injury lawyer from Morris Bart, LLC.
Our personal-injury lawyers will help you avoid mistakes such as accepting a low settlement, signing a general release, or admitting fault to insurance adjusters. If you would like to schedule a consultation with a truck accident attorney in Louisiana, call 800-537-8185.