Skip to Content

The Dangers of Tailgating a Semi-Truck

close up image of the front of a large truck

Underride Accidents: A Severe Consequence of Tailgating

“Tailgating,” or when a car is following too closely behind another vehicle, is one of the most dangerous actions a driver can do. When tailgating, a driver has limited space to react to sudden braking or emergency situations. Other hazards become even more severe when the collision involves a semi-truck.

One of the most dangerous consequences of tailgating these vehicles is an underride accident.

What is an Underride Accident?

An underride accident occurs when a car slides underneath the back of a truck during a rear-end collision. These accidents are often fatal because the hood of the car (and sometimes the roof) is completely crushed. According to data from the U.S. Government Accountability Office, about 219 fatal underride accidents occurred annually from 2008 to 2017.

Be Mindful of the “No Zone”

One of the most effective ways to reduce underride accidents caused by tailgating is for drivers to mind the truck's “no zone.” The no zone is the blind spot on all four sides of a truck where crashes are more likely to occur. Drivers should be mindful when traveling within these spaces:

  • 20 feet behind the truck
  • 30 feet in front of the truck
  • One lane to the truck driver's side
  • Two lanes to the truck passenger's side

Generally, it is always safer to be a good distance away from a large truck rather than driving directly next to it. However, if passing or on a busy road, one way to remember how far the no zone extends is to follow the signs typically posted on the back of the truck—“If you can't see the driver, they cannot see you.” This also applies when a truck turns, as they need more room to complete them safely.

Texas Truck Accident Attorneys

Texas annually leads the country in the most trucking accidents, resulting in thousands of injuries and fatalities yearly. At Law Offices Of Vic Feazell, P.C., we help these victims recover compensation for their severe injuries. To learn how we can help your case, call (254) 938-6885 or fill out this short form to schedule a free consultation.