If you find yourself approaching a chain reaction car accident, it might be very difficult to avoid the crash – even though you see it coming. These accidents often happen in traffic jams, when one vehicle strikes another and pushes it into the cars in front of it.
This is an especially common scenario in accidents involving semi-trucks and those that occur on slippery roads, but chain reaction accidents can happen at any time. Why do these accidents happen? Here are a few of the major contributors to this collision type.
Small following distances
One of the main reasons that chain reaction crashes persist is that people do not leave large enough following distances. Ideally, you should be leaving three seconds between the car in front of you. But even if you’re following this protocol, if the person behind you is only two seconds back and the person behind them is only one second back, you could be hit by both vehicles if you have to stop suddenly. This is why it is usually wise to let a tailgater pass, rather than allowing them to stay behind you and create a heightened risk of a chain reaction crash.
Additionally, drivers will often forget to adjust their speed for conditions. If roads are wet or otherwise slippery, they need to keep a gap of even more than three seconds because it is going to take more time and distance for a car to stop. Drivers may also be wise to slow down on slippery roads, which is why the police will sometimes cite someone for driving too fast for conditions even though they were driving at the speed limit.
Unfortunately, drivers make these types of mistakes all the time and cause serious accidents as a result. If you have been injured in an accident caused by a negligent driver, make sure you know exactly what legal steps to take to protect your rights and to pursue any compensation to which you may be entitled.