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Following Too Closely Causes Georgia Rear-End Accidents

Atlanta personal injury lawyerA Georgia State Patrol Trooper responded to the scene of a collision recently at 7:58 in the morning. The collision occurred when a man driving a Toyota Tundra hit the rear of a Chevrolet Traverse. The Traverse, which was stopped behind a school bus, was pushed into the school bus as a result of the impact. The drivers of both the Traverse and the Tundra were transported to the hospital with injuries, and six of the school children aboard the bus also required treatment.

According to Valdosta Today, the driver of the Tundra was issued a citation for following too closely. Failing to leave enough distance between vehicles is one of the primary causes of rear-end accidents. Drivers who travel too closely behind other cars can generally be held legally responsible for the consequences of the collisions they cause.

Why Following Too Closely Causes Rear-End Accidents to Occur

Drivers are expected not to follow too closely when a vehicle is in front of their car. Following too closely, or tailgating, can be dangerous and can significantly increase the chance of rear-end collisions.

When a driver tailgates another vehicle, the rear driver does not have room to react if the driver in front slows down or stops his own vehicle for any reason.  A car does not stop instantly when hitting the brakes, and a front driver may need to slow or stop for many different reasons. The rear driver could strike the back of the front car because he didn't accommodate his vehicle's stopping distance and leave enough room.  The faster the speed of the cars, the longer the stopping distance required due to the increased momentum.

Typically, drivers should leave around three to four seconds between the time their car passes a fixed object and the time the vehicle directly in front of theirs had passed the same object. However, if the weather is bad, visibility is impeded, or the roads are slippery. Drivers are expected to leave an even longer stopping distance to account for the fact it may take more time for them to hit the brakes and have them work effectively.

Because the drivers who are following behind are expected to leave enough space to stop, they can be presumed negligent in the event a rear-end accident occurs. The fact the accident happens suggests they failed to leave a reasonable amount of space between their own vehicle and the car in front. With the presumption of negligence rules, it can be easier for the victims of rear-end accidents to prove their right to compensation from the rear driver since there is generally no need to provide additional evidence to prove the rear driver was unreasonably careless, other than showing the accident was a rear-end crash.

Call the Law Offices of Gary Martin Hays & Associates, P.C. at 1-800-898-HAYS or visit to schedule a free consultation if you have been injured in Atlanta, Duluth, Savannah or surrounding areas of Georgia.

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