Philadelphia Drivers at Risk of Rear-End Crashes with Trucks

April 30th, 2015

Throughout Philadelphia and Bucks County, experienced rear-end accident lawyers know some of the most dangerous collisions happen when trucks and cars collide. Many truck accidents are rear-end crashes because trucks have a very long stopping distance and cannot always stop before striking the back of the car in front of them.

truckAccording to the Bendix Spencer Foundation, trucks have about twice the stopping distance as passenger vehicles. Because of kinetic energy. Larger trucks have more momentum.  To stop this momentum takes more braking force. Trucks thus take longer not only to stop, but also to slow down. A sudden change in traffic speed could quickly lead to a fast moving truck hitting the vehicle in front when a car slows but the truck isn’t able to adapt its speed.

The problem is compounded because a trucker may try to slam on the brakes when he notices a car in his path or when a vehicle the trucker is following slows down. This panic braking can cause brakes to become less effective because of brake fade. Brake fade is a phenomenon that occurs when the brake’s thermal capacity is exceeded and the brakes become less efficient.

Trucks are at Risk of Rear-End Crashes

Truck drivers must be aware of longer stopping distance and leave plenty of space between their own vehicles and the passenger cars that may be in front of them. When a truck strikes a vehicle in the rear, serious injuries and death can occur because of the large size of the truck. The trucker and trucking company can be held responsible for resulting injuries and damages.

However, rear-end accidents can also be deadly when a driver is behind a truck and cannot stop in time to avoid hitting the commercial vehicle.  According to a study from the University of Michigan, underride is common in these types of collisions and as many as 60 percent of deadly rear-end accidents involving trucks have at least some underride. Underride means the car slips underneath the body of the truck.

Many motorists on U.S. streets will become involved in rear-end accidents at some point in their lives. In fact, one report from Penn State University indicated that during the operational life of any vehicle, the car is expected to be involved in .18 rear-end crashes that are reported to the police.   When considering non-reported rear-end accidents, this number increases because there are almost two million rear-end collisions each year that motorists do not notify law enforcement about. 

Drivers need to know about these high risks and should ensure that they also do their part to prevent a rear-end crash, especially if they are following behind a large commercial truck.

Our personal injury attorneys in Philadelphia are dedicated to fighting for the rights of accident victims. Contact Flager & Associates at 215-953-5200 or visit today to schedule a consultation. Serving Philadelphia, Bucks County and surrounding areas. 

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