Have you ever wondered how following distance - the distance between your vehicle and the vehicle traveling in front of you - plays a role in Missouri truck accidents? You might have noticed that when traffic is heavy, the distance between the front and rear bumpers tends to be smaller. It can even become a fight to keep the distance small enough to prevent another vehicle from cutting in front of you. The problem with this particular driving behavior - known as "tailgating" - is that it is a major contributor to many Missouri traffic accidents. And when it comes to truck accidents, following too closely is not only a contributing factor: it can cause increased damage and serious injury or death.
Missouri Accident Statistics
- Of the major cities, 15.8 percent of tractor trailer and truck accidents occur in St. Louis, 15.1 percent in Kansas City, 5.1 percent in Springfield. The highest number of truck accidents occur on U.S. highways, followed by interstate and state numbered roads. The highest number of property damage accidents happen on city streets. The vast majority of truck accidents are, of course, along the major highway thoroughfares of I-70 and I-44.
- In 2010 commercial vehicles, which includes trucks, tractor trailers and buses, were involved in 9 percent of all traffic accidents in Missouri. That percentage is even greater for fatal traffic accidents (12.6 percent).
- In 2010 105 people were killed and 4,007 people were injured in accidents involving a big truck, tractor trailer, or other commercial motor vehicle.
- Over half of these accidents, 58.7 percent, occurred in an urban area, however of all the fatal crashes, 72.2 occurred in a rural area, along those major truck routes.
- 25 of the people killed were drivers.
- 86 percent of truck or bus accidents occurred on a straight road
- 69 percent occurred on a level road
- 29 percent occurred on a hill
- 79 percent occurred on dry roads
- 14.5 percent occurred on wet roads
Truck accidents are equally distributed throughout the year and mostly occur on week days. While truck accidents occur around the clock, a significant number occur between 7 am until 7 pm, when big rigs share the road with passenger cars and light trucks.
Given this data, it is clear that semi-truck accidents are extremely dangerous, particularly for the drivers of passenger vehicles. Leaving plenty of room between you and another vehicle is one of the best ways to avoid a serious truck accident. A large truck takes a lot longer to stop and has a massive amount of force - so be patient and give yourself plenty of room, just in case.