Virginia Truck Crash Highlights Danger of Rear-End Collisions

The driver of a lumber truck was charged with following too closely after his vehicle rear-ended a Toyota Highlander on I-295 North near Hanover, Va., on the morning of February 24. Both vehicles ran off the road after the collision, and the truck overturned on its right side, WTVR.com reported.

The accident caused significant traffic delays as two lanes were closed for cleanup, but no one was injured. The Virginia State Police said the trucker and the occupants of the Highlander were wearing seatbelts.

According to the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration, about 18% of large truck crashes are rear-end accidents. Trucks rear-end passenger cars, trucks, and motorcycles at much higher rates than vice versa.

Drivers of large commercial trucks sit high off the road, which increases the distance they can see. Observing the road ahead is an important part of vehicle safety and crash-avoidance, so large trucks have an edge over passenger vehicles in that way.

Nonetheless, large trucks have serious drawbacks that contribute to rear-end wrecks, especially if a trucker is tailgating another vehicle. Large trucks are less maneuverable than passenger vehicles, and the stopping distance of a semi truck is much greater than that of smaller autos.

Following too closely is a frequent cause of rear-end collisions involving trucks.

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