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Sudden Stop Car Accidents: Dangerous and Avoidable Collisions

By Sean Burke on July 19, 2018

Aftermath of a rear end auto accidentGiven the number of commuters entering and exiting Orange County, CA each day, car accidents are bound to happen. That doesn’t mean they should have happened, however. In a number of cases, negligence by drivers results in serious crashes that could have been avoided.

With this in mind, we want to look at crashes that were caused by sudden stops on the road. Many of these collisions are reactions to unexpected incidents on the road, but a bit of caution could have prevented these crashes or made the collisions less severe.

Why People Make Sudden Stops

While sudden stops are not good, there are many good reasons why even safe drivers would make a sudden stop on the road:

  • Debris in the road
  • Accident occurs up the road
  • Pedestrian or animal darting across the road

In many other cases, sudden stops occur as a result of distraction or inattention. These kinds of sudden stops are avoidable if drivers are attentive and abide by normal rules of the road.

Risk of Rear End Collisions

When drivers make sudden stops, there is a much higher risk of rear end collisions. Vehicles behind the one that made the sudden stop have less time to react and avoid a collision. The National Highway Safety Administration (NHTSA) estimates that 26 percent of all auto collisions are rear end crashes, meaning that they are one of the most common kinds of auto collisions.

Potential Collisions with Other Motorists

When a vehicle makes a sudden stop, the driver behind it may attempt to swerve out of the way to avoid a collision. While this might prevent another sudden stop collision for any vehicle behind the swerving vehicle, this could lead to other kinds of crashes. The swerving vehicle may collide with the side of vehicles in adjacent lanes, which could in turn lead to multi-vehicle accidents.

Avoid Tailgating on the Road

One of the best things you can do to avoid collisions when a sudden stop occurs is avoid tailgating. Giving other vehicles ample room on the road takes into account a safe stopping time and stopping distance. If you are following too closely behind another vehicle, your ability to stop safely is seriously impacted.

A good rule of thumb is to allow one car length for every 10 mph. This is ample space for a safe stop.

Do Not Drive While Distracted

Distractions are all around us these days, especially now that cellphones and tablets are a regular part of life. Yet when you are behind the wheel of an automobile, it’s imperative that you be attentive about your surroundings. Avoid texting while driving, and only speak on your phone when you have a hands-free set.

Drivers should also avoid rubbernecking, eating while driving, and grooming themselves while they operate a vehicle. Your attention should be on the road.

Who Is Legally Liable in Sudden Stop Crashes?

Distracted or negligent drivers may be legally liable in sudden stop crashes depending on the circumstances of the case. The negligent driver may be the person who came to a sudden stop or who struck a vehicle ahead of them following a sudden stop. A lawyer can help examine the circumstances of your case and determine who is legally liable.

Contact Burke Law

For more information about your legal rights and options after a car accident, be sure to contact the attorneys at our law firm. Our lawyers will guide you through the legal process.

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