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Avoiding Rear-End Accidents with Commercial Trucks


It might be one of your worst driving nightmares to look in your rear-view mirror and see a tractor trailer barreling down the highway headed straight for you. A rear-end accident can be a frightening experience and it can cause significant property damage and injuries, especially when the rear vehicle is a large, commercial truck. When you consider the forces involved with a tractor trailer that is as much as 40 times the weight of a passenger vehicle, you can understand just how serious a crash can be.

Rear-end accidents are the most common types of collisions on the roadway. The National Highway Transportation Safety Administration (NHTSA) reports that in 2015 (the most recent data available) 25% of all crashes involving heavy trucks were rear-end collisions. While rear-end crashes are almost always the result of driver error, it is not always the error of the rear vehicle. However, in most cases, particularly in cases where the rear vehicle is a massive 18-wheeler with a commanding view of the road ahead, these accidents can almost always be avoided.

Fortunately, these types of truck accidents may become less common in the future, thanks to the new crash avoidance technology that is being added to vehicles. Technology such as forward collision warning and autonomous braking systems could potentially reduce the number of traffic crashes as they become more prevalent in vehicles.

Common causes of rear-end truck accidents

There are a few common factors that can cause a rear-end crash to occur including the following:

  • Speeding, driving too fast for current road conditions
  • Following too closely behind the vehicle in front
  • Driving aggressively
  • Drunk, distracted or drowsy driving
  • Faulty/ malfunctioning brakes
  • Inadequate headlamps

Tips for avoiding rear-end collisions

Traffic School Online has these tips for avoiding a rear-end collision:

  1. Maintain a safe following distance
  2. Increase your following distance when necessary
  3. Be aware of your surroundings
  4. Be predictable

Be mindful of the increased braking distance required to stop a 20,000lb. truck when you are changing lanes quickly and overtaking large, commercial trucks at highway speeds. If a truck driver seems to be driving aggressively, do not engage with them on the road. Increase the distance between you and the truck as much as you can and be on your way.

Truck accidents can cause serious injuries and even death. The experienced truck accident attorneys at Stipe Law Firm are here to discuss your case in a free consultation and offer sound guidance on next steps. You are welcome to call (918) 505-7741 or fill out our contact form to schedule your free case review today.