Anyone can be involved in a rear-end accident. For the person being hit, it is almost always the other driver’s fault, and it is almost always a surprise. These crashes often happen at red lights or stop signs, but they can also occur in traffic jams or even when someone is just turning into a parking lot.
In some ways, though, large trucks may pose an excessive risk of causing these types of accidents. The issue is that they have very long stopping distances. Moreover, these crashes can cause severe injuries because of the sheer size of the vehicles involved.
Why stopping distances matter
The necessary stopping distance for an 18-wheeler is generally more than 500 feet, and it may be around twice as long as the distance for a smaller car.
This matters because it means that the driver who delays hitting the brakes for even a split second may suddenly be in a situation where they cannot stop in time. If that driver is distracted by something outside of the vehicle, for instance, they may not notice that the light turned red ahead of them and cars are stopping. By the time their attention gets back to the road and they apply the brakes, they may be within that 500-foot threshold. Even if the brakes work perfectly from that moment on, they’re still going to hit the next car because they simply cannot stop all that weight and speed in time.
What can you do if you were injured?
Have you been hit by a truck driver? Whether it was a rear-end accident or not, it is absolutely crucial that you understand all of the options you have to seek compensation for things like your medical bills and other expenses and damages.