Wisconsin Truck Accidents Caused by Following Too Closely

A truck driver following the vehicle in front of it too closely is one of the most common causes of 18-wheeler truck accidents in Wisconsin.  Driver error is by far the leading cause of large truck accidents in Wisconsin and a truck driver following the vehicle in front of it too closely is one of the most common truck driver errors we see in Wisconsin.

Wisconsin Tailgating Laws

It is against Wisconsin law for a truck driver, or any other driver, to tailgate.  Wisconsin law provides that “The operator of a motor vehicle shall not follow another vehicle more closely than is reasonable and prudent, having due regard for the speed of such vehicle and the traffic upon and the condition of the highway.”

Tailgating by anyone is dangerous.  It is particular dangerous for a semi-truck or other large truck to follow the vehicle in front of it too closely.  It takes a long distance for a semi-truck to stop even when traveling at moderate speeds.  Because of the size and weight of an 18-wheeler, a rear-end accident by the truck driver can cause catastrophic injuries.

There are many different reasons why a semi-truck driver in Wisconsin may wrongfully tailgate the vehicle in front of it.  Sometimes a truck driver is in a hurry to make a delivery or pick-up a new load.  We often see a truck driver intentionally tailgating the vehicle in front of it in an effort to intimidate the driver to move into another lane so the truck driver can speed by.  This is particularly dangerous because the driver in front may not move into another lane and may even slow down because he or she does not like being tailgated.


Why is Tailgating is So Dangerous For Trucks

There are times when a car may cut in front of a large truck.  In these instances, truck drivers are taught to immediately allow their vehicle to slow down in order to create a safe space in front of it.  Too often truck drivers do not follow the training they received and this can result in unsafe conditions on Wisconsin highways and other roads.

At 65 m.p.h., a semi-truck travels approximately 95.3 feet per second.  When traveling only 55 m.p.h., a semi-truck travels more than the length of an entire football field in less than 5 seconds.  Combine that with the slow stopping distance of a truck and it is easy to see the danger created anytime a semi-truck tailgates the vehicle in front of it.

A legally, fully-loaded semi-truck can weight up to 80,000 pounds.  This is one of the main reasons why a Wisconsin semi-truck has a long stopping distance.  The weight of the semi-truck is also one of the main reasons semi-truck accidents often result in severe injuries.

For comparison, an average passenger vehicle in dry conditions takes approximately 316 feet to stop when traveling at 65 m.p.h.  This is approximately the length of one football field.  However, a semi-truck weighing up to 80,000 traveling on a dry roadway will take approximately 525 feet to stop. In addition to its size and weight, the type of brakes a Wisconsin semi-truck has also contributes to its long-stopping distance.  Unlike cars, semi-trucks are equipped with air brakes.  We have all heard truck air brakes working.

The problem with air brakes is that they have what is referred to as lag time.  This means that when the truck driver applies the brake pedal, it takes time for air to fill up the brake lines before the vehicle can slow and eventually stop.

Wisconsin Lawyer For Truck Tailgating Accidents

If you have been injured by a Wisconsin semi-truck driver who was tailgating, or who failed to stop in time, we believe you probably have a good case worth pursuing.  Damages that may be recoverable include past pain and suffering, future pain and suffering, past medical expenses, future medical expenses, wage loss and loss of future earning capacity as well as property damage loss.

If you would like to pursue your claim with an award-winning Wisconsin law firm, we invite you to give us a call at 414-273-7400 to discuss your truck accident case.  You can also use our website Contact Form if you prefer.

All information you provide remains strictly confidential and there is never a charge no matter how many times you speak with us.  We only get paid after we obtain a recovery for you.  In the unlikely event there is no recovery, then you pay us nothing.

We invite you to call us at 414-273-7400 or use our confidential website Contact From to talk to a Wisconsin truck accident attorney today.  You will find us easy to talk to and we would love to hear from you.