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Why do trucks rear-end smaller vehicles?

On Behalf of | Oct 13, 2022 | Trucking Accidents |

One of the most devastating accidents you can be involved in is if your vehicle gets rear-ended by a semitruck. This often happens to people who are stuck in a traffic jam, sitting at a light or trying to maneuver their way through a work zone.

The problem with these accidents is twofold. First, there’s not much you can do to avoid it because you may not even see it coming. Second, these trucks can weigh up to 80,000 pounds, so people in the other vehicles are in significant danger. Why do these accidents happen?

The vehicle needed a longer stopping distance

One potential reason is that the stopping distance for a truck is almost double that for a passenger vehicle. The driver of the truck may see that traffic has stopped ahead of them, but they still have to press the brakes before the vehicles around them. If they wait, they’re simply not going to have enough time to slow down the vehicle before reaching the traffic jam.

The driver was distracted

In some cases, truck drivers do get distracted. There are regulations they have to follow about not using handheld devices, such as a cellphone, but there are many forms of distraction. They could be looking at the GPS, for instance, or adjusting the mirrors.

There was a mechanical issue

In some cases, it’s not the driver’s fault at all. The brakes go out, or some other mechanical issue means they can’t control the vehicle. This could be the fault of the trucking company or the company that maintains the truck.

If you do get seriously injured in an accident like this, just make sure you know about your legal options.