Stopping Distance

Atlanta Truck Accident Attorney

Georgia truck accident lawyer Stephen M. Ozcomert has an established reputation for excellence in proving negligence in truck accident cases. Leaving insufficient braking distance behind the leading vehicle is a common cause of accidents and injuries involving large trucks. Honored as one of Georgia’s “Legal Elite,” Mr. Ozcomert dedicates his practice to representing personal injury victims, giving them the legal guidance required to take on corporate industries and insurers.

Following Too Closely

According to the Department of Transportation Motor Carrier Safety Administration, 5% of crashes occur when a commercial vehicle fails to maintain the proper following distance. This prevents even the most attentive drivers from braking fast enough to avoid a collision. When sharing the road with tractor-trailers, inadequate following distance may be affected by:

  • Speeding
  • Intoxication
  • Driver fatigue
  • Trailer swing out
  • Distracted driving
  • Construction zones
  • Weather conditions
  • Road, traffic hazards
  • Hard braking downhill
  • Type of braking system
  • Commercial truck weight

Because a high coefficient of friction is necessary to come to a complete stop, driving must be adapted in inclement weather, on slippery roads, or when visibility is low. A safe following distance allows drivers to stop safely or take the evasive action required to avoid a crash. A loaded tractor-trailer traveling at 55 mph requires an average stopping distance of 196 feet. Atlanta truck brake accident lawyer Stephen M. Ozcomert has the experience necessary to fight for full compensation if you or someone you love has been victim of a truck stopping distance accident.

Braking Innovation

Since 1970, various groups have pressured the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration to amend its standards to shorten the stopping distance required of buses, single-unit trucks, and empty truck-tractors. In 2009, the agency finally adopted rules cutting the required distance by 30%. Now, truck tractors traveling at 60 mph must stop in 250 feet, or 235 feet when loaded to their “lightly loaded vehicle weight.” The new rule has been made possible by advances in disk and electronic brakes, but does not impact single-unit trucks, trailers, or buses. Except for 2 or 3-axle truck tractors, stopping distances for other commercial vehicles remain the same.

Truck Driver Negligence

New regulations reducing the stopping distance required of 60,000-pound vehicles are not sufficient to prevent accidents caused by negligence. No matter how advanced or responsive the braking force, heavy trucks cannot stop fast enough to compensate for insufficient braking distance. Collisions involving delayed braking can cause various degrees of harm, including:

  • Whiplash
  • Brain injury
  • Broken bones
  • Disfigurement
  • Partial disability
  • Paralysis, amnesia
  • Spinal cord damage
  • Sensory impairment

Negligent truck drivers are liable for bodily injury and wrongful death caused by a crash. Personal injury law also imposes liability on owners and operators employing the negligent driver. This means that injured victims and surviving family members may be entitled to compensation from multiple parties and their respective insurers.

Successfully Recovering Compensation

If you were injured in a truck accident caused by insufficient braking distance or some other issue, call Atlanta personal injury attorney Stephen M. Ozcomert for help. For over 20 years, our firm has built a track record of success recovering generous verdicts and settlements for truck accident victims. Whether your case involves a negligent driver, multiple commercial companies, or reluctant insurers, we begin working immediately at no up-front cost to you. Trust us to identify all liable parties and help you get your life back on track. Call (404) 370-1000 for a free consultation or contact us online.