One of the major causes of truck accidents is a big rig that is following too closely to the traffic in front of it. The failure to maintain an assured safe distance or “tailgating” is particularly dangerous with tractor-trailers.
It is well known and verified in study after study that semi trucks take much longer than passenger vehicles to come to a complete stop. A big rig can take up to 525 feet to come to a complete stop at 65 mph. On the other hand at 65 mph, a passenger car can come to a complete stop at 316 feet.
The reaction time for truck drivers and for passenger car drivers or the same, however with a large vehicle and different braking systems big trucks take longer to stop. Trucks with braking systems that have not been properly maintained or adjusted can exacerbate the problem and result in much worse accidents.
When you combine the increase stopping distance with the injury potential of an 80,000-pound vehicle, you have a prescription for disaster when a big rig is following too closely to the traffic in front of it.
In communities such as Houston, Dallas, San Antonio or Austin the traffic congestion can make it much more difficult for a truck driver to maintain a safe distance with vehicles in front of it.
One common scenario is that traffic comes to a sudden halt on a well-traveled highway in a major metropolitan area and the pickup trucks and passenger cars come to a complete stop while the 18-wheeler cannot stop in time given that it takes approximately 1/3 longer to come to a complete stop.
Under this fact pattern, even an impact at 20 mph with a big truck can cause very serious injury or even result in a fatality. Low speed impacts with semi trucks can have the same injury potential as a high-speed car-to-car impact. The big trucks move through passenger cars like a hot knife through butter.
If you have been injured in a truck accident where an 18-wheeler rear-ended you, and you sustained a serious injury you may want to contact a law firm that handles big rig accidents is a major part of their practice.
Early investigation can often preserve important evidence and inspection of the big rig can reveal whether or not the brakes of the semi truck were in proper operating condition at the time of the accident.
Texas juries have not been tolerant of trucking companies or truck drivers that fail to follow the safety rules that apply to them.
To speak with leading truck accident attorneys call the Baumgartner Law Firm for a no obligation consultation- Toll Free 1-866-758-4529.