Following too closely can cause 18-wheeler accidents

It can be difficult enough for passenger vehicles to come to a sudden stop at highway speeds when the traffic ahead has significantly slowed or come to a stop. Tractor-trailers require even larger distances to come to a stop than passenger vehicles, and many Louisiana drivers would say that there is no such thing as a sudden stop for one of these behemoths with which they must share the highways. Truck drivers who follow the traffic in front of them too closely may be unable to stop if needed, which causes numerous 18-wheeler accidents.

Troopers with the Louisiana State Police say that two tractor-trailers were following too closely in a recent crash on Interstate 10. A line of four semis was traveling one behind the other in the outside lane of the westbound side of the interstate when the traffic ahead of them slowed. The two lead trucks slowed as well, but the third truck had to quickly apply its brakes.

The driver of the fourth truck attempted to maneuver around the third truck by moving into the inside lane. When the tractor-trailer entered the lane, it hit another 18-wheeler and a pickup truck. The pickup was then thrown into the guardrail. The driver of that vehicle suffered moderate injuries, and a passenger in the 18-wheeler suffered minor injuries.

The moderately injured driver of the pickup truck could be looking at a significant recovery time. Lost wages, medical expenses and other damages could impose a heavy financial burden on the victim. He or she retains the right to file a personal injury claim against the party or parties deemed liable for the injuries suffered in the crash. Proving that the negligence of another caused or contributed to those injuries could lead to an award of damages often seen in 18-wheeler accidents.

Source:, "I-10 Westbound reopens at LA-415 after crash shuts down interstate on Basin Bridge", April 8, 2015

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Vincent J. DeSalvo, Attorney at Law
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