After a two-car accident occurred, nine more vehicles were then involved in the wreck as drivers were unable to stop in time to avoid the existing accident. The subsequent motor vehicle accident involved an 18-wheeler whose driver claims someone cut him off, leaving him without enough space to come to a complete stop.
Under Texas law, a driver may be ticketed for “following too close,” but the law doesn’t specify exactly what constitutes a safe distance. Since the safe space between cars varies based on speed, type of vehicle, weather conditions, and more, it is impossible to offer a concrete, easily measurable distance that will reliably be safe.
Maintaining an Assured Clear Distance
Texas drivers are required by statute to follow the “assured clear distance” law, which requires drivers to maintain a distance from the vehicle in front of them such that if the vehicle suddenly stops, they can also safely stop. Since this law fails to clearly define the distance required, Texas courts have refused to impose this as negligence per se. Thus, drivers are still left with an unclear rule to follow.
The Texas Transportation Code specifically mentions following too close, but only specifies “sufficient space”:
Sec. 545.062. FOLLOWING DISTANCE. (a) An operator shall, if following another vehicle, maintain an assured clear distance between the two vehicles so that, considering the speed of the vehicles, traffic, and the conditions of the highway, the operator can safely stop without colliding with the preceding vehicle or veering into another vehicle, object, or person on or near the highway. (b) An operator of a truck or of a motor vehicle drawing another vehicle who is on a roadway outside a business or residential district and who is following another truck or motor vehicle drawing another vehicle shall, if conditions permit, leave sufficient space between the vehicles so that a vehicle passing the operator can safely enter and occupy the space. This subsection does not prohibit a truck or a motor vehicle drawing another vehicle from passing another vehicle.
Injured by a Driver Who Was Driving Too Close?
If you’ve been in an accident because another driver was following too close, you may be entitled to compensation. Talking to a local personal injury attorney can be the first step toward getting back on track after a serious car accident. Contact us for a free and confidential consultation today.