Prevention of rear-end accidents should be a top goal throughout Fairfield, New Canaan, Darien, Weston and across the United States. According to Purdue University, a full 30 percent of all annual motor vehicle accidents happen because of one driver striking another motorist's vehicle in the rear. Many of these crashes (60 percent) happen because drivers are not paying attention to the road. A total of 90 percent of all the rear-end collisions that occur happen either because of driver inattention or because of tailgating.
While every driver needs to pay careful attention and leave sufficient following distance, a rear-end accident lawyer in Fairfield County knows that this may be especially important for drivers of commercial motor vehicles.
Truck Drivers Must be Vigilant in Preventing Rear-End Accidents
Truck drivers cannot afford to be distracted behind the wheel and must ensure they are leaving plenty of space between their own car and the vehicle that is ahead of them. This is because trucks take much longer to slow down and much longer to stop than other cars on the road.
The Bendix Spencer Foundation took a close look at issues with truck stopping distance. The Foundation discussed kinetic energy. The more kinetic energy something has, the more force is necessary to stop it. Trucks have a lot of kinetic energy due to their size, especially if they are traveling at highway speeds. A great deal of brake force is necessary to cause them to come to a complete stop. Trucks can take around twice as long as passenger cars to stop moving forward.
A trucker who is not paying attention may not notice a car in front and may try to slam on the brakes at the last minute. When the trucker tries to brake at the last second, this is called panic braking. The Bendix Spencer Foundation cautions that panic braking can actually extend the amount of time it takes a trucker to stop. The panic braking results in the thermal capacity of the brakes being exceeded, causing brake fade and reducing the effectiveness of the brakes.
Truck drivers who tailgate are also at risk of rear-ending the lead vehicle. If the car in front slows down to respond to road conditions, weather conditions, or other traffic, the truck is going to take longer to also slow its speed. The car in front can be hit by the truck that is unable to adjust to the change.
A trucker that strikes a car in front of it is going to cause serious damage in many cases. The University of Connecticut has warned that the greater size of the truck causes more acceleration of the body in a passenger vehicle when the passenger car is hit from the back. This makes the chances of whiplash and other soft tissue injuries greater.
It is the responsibility of truckers to be aware of the added potential of rear-end accidents and to take steps to try to avoid them.
A Fairfield County personal injury lawyer at Vishno Law Firm can help after a collision. Call 888-222-1688 today.