This week we covered the story of a four-vehicle, chain-reaction crash on the James River Bridge in Richmond, Virginia, on Interstate 95. The accident took place when a tractor-trailer slammed into the back of a sedan, which in turn rear-ended the vehicle in front of that and the vehicle in front of that. After the Virginia State Police investigated the truck accident, they concluded that a big rig driver caused the collision by following too closely.
Some of the most devastating Virginia truck accidents take place when a tractor-trailer follows you too closely on a highway or interstate. Because of the size and weight of these commercial vehicles, it takes them significantly longer to slow down or stop. The result? Tailgating trucks often run in to whatever is in front of them if traffic comes to a halt.
What should you do if a big rig is tailgating you?
- Do not slam on your brakes. Some people think that braking will let the driver behind you know that they are tailgating – but in the case of large trucks, you may be causing an accident instead of giving them a warning about following too closely.
- Give the truck an opportunity to pass. If you are on a two-lane highway, you may see a good place to pull over and let the truck pass. If you are on an interstate, consider slowing down so that the truck can overtake you in the left lane.
- Do not speed up. Don’t try to stop tailgating simply by being bullied into going a faster speed. Stick to the speed limit, and only drive at a speed that you are comfortable with.
- Get the truck driver’s information. Many commercial trucks have contact information on the back that includes a phone number. Consider reporting the trucker’s poor behavior to the trucking company. If the truck is driving recklessly and endangering others, report the incident to the police.
- Resist playing games. Letting the truck pass does not mean you let the trucker “win,” and playing games involving tailgating is extremely dangerous. While it may seem unfair to let the truck pass or get his way, it is the safest solution to a deadly problem.
Have you been injured in a Virginia truck accident that involved tailgating or following too closely? Contact the Richmond truck accident lawyers at Shapiro & Appleton today to schedule a free consultation.