Sweeney Julian
Sweeney Julian

Your Premier Indiana Personal Injury Trial Attorneys

Your Premier Indiana Personal Injury Trial Attorneys

A Veteran Owned Law Firm

Our Legal Team Has Been Honored With A Number Of Prestigious Awards And Honors, Including:

Million Dollar Advocates Forum
Million Dollar Advocates Forum
AV | Preeminent | Peer Rated for Highest Level of Professional Excellence | 2017 | Martindale-Hubbell
Avvo Rating | 10.0 Superb | Top Attorney Car Accident
Super Lawyers | Rising Stars

2 things that impact stopping distances

On Behalf of | Jan 30, 2024 | Personal Injury |

One of the main reasons for rear-end car accidents is simply that drivers have miscalculated the necessary stopping distance. By the time they realize they need to stop the car, there is not enough space for them to do so safely. Even if they slam on the brakes, they are still going to cause a crash.

But many drivers are surprised when this plays out. They were unaware that they weren’t maintaining a safe distance, so they’re as shocked as the drivers around them when they cause a crash. They may even blame the other driver for stopping unexpectedly, even though the rear driver is typically at fault. It can help to understand what types of things can impact stopping distances.

Vehicle weight

First of all, the weight of a vehicle plays a big role. This is why a semi-truck may need over 500 feet to come to a stop, whereas a passenger car may only need 300 feet. A semi that is fully loaded, at around 80,000 pounds, is vastly heavier than a passenger car. Most passenger vehicles are more in the range of 4,000 pounds. It’s a lot easier to bring that smaller vehicle to a halt. 

Driver distraction

Another thing that plays a role, especially when looking at the aftermath of an accident, is driver distraction. If a driver is looking down at their phone, it takes them an extra second to look up and process what’s happening around them. If they had been looking at the road the entire time, they would’ve used that extra second to begin pressing the brakes. But the delayed reaction means that a distracted driver needs a much greater distance to stop their vehicle in time.

Have you been injured in a rear-end accident? Make sure you know what legal options you have.