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Tailgating, or following too closely, is an unnecessary and generally aggressive behavior which places people unnecessarily at risk for serious injury. It is also downright dangerous. This is because a vehicle that is tailgating reduces to time to react to the lead vehicle’s actions and reduces the distance to stop or maneuver to avoid other vehicles. This is especially true when the tailgater is the driver of a large commercial vehicle like a semi tractor trailer, 18 wheeler, or tanker which already require more time to react and more distance to stop. As a result, it is common for tailgating and following too closely to result in serious or fatal New Mexico trucking accidents.
New Mexico Trucking Accidents Caused by Tailgating
Fortunately, New Mexico common law (judge-made law) and New Mexico statutory law (legislatively-made law) create strong rights for victims of New Mexico trucking accidents due to tailgating. If you or a loved on have been seriously injured or if a loved one was wrongfully killed in a New Mexico trucking crash caused by a tailgating tractor trailer, please call our Albuquerque trucking accident lawyer at the Mark Caruso by failing (505) 883-5000 to learn what your rights to compensation may be and how we can protect it.
New Mexico Law Prohibits Following Too Closely and Tailgating
Both New Mexico common law and statutory law make it illegal to follow other vehicles too closely by tailgating. The common law requires all motorists to use reasonable care under the circumstances in the use and operation of their motor vehicle. When a motorist is tailgating, that motorist is allowing too little reaction time and too little distance to safely come to a stop. If this results in a rear end collision, it is very likely that a tailgater is not acting reasonably in the use and operation of their motor vehicle.
In addition, New Mexico statutory law expressly prohibits tailgating. Following too closely is governed by New Mexico stat. 66-7-318 subdivision (a) which provides that “[t]he driver of a motor vehicle shall not follow another vehicle more closely than is reasonable and prudent, having due regard for the speed of such vehicles and the traffic upon and the condition of the highway.”
Thus, when a New Mexico trucking accident is caused by a semi tractor trailer or other box truck rear ending another vehicle, it is likely that New Mexico statutory law is violated. This allows the victim of a 18 wheeler wreck to use the doctrine of negligence per se to prove liability. The doctrine of negligence per se holds a defendant liable when the violation of a statute causes harm to a person that the statute was meant to protect from that harm. In a rear-end trucking accident, it is likely that the doctrine of negligence per se would apply and hold a defendant truck driver and trucking company liable.
Victims of Rear End Collisions Caused by a Truck Driver Tailgating Should Call our Albuquerque Trucking Accident Lawyer
When truck drivers unnecessarily tailgate and cause New Mexico trucking accidents, it could be both common law negligence and negligence per se. These legal theories allow victims of personal injury accidents to recover compensation such as pain and suffering, lost wages, medical bills, and property damage. If you or a loved one have been injured or killed by a negligent motorist who was tailgating, please call our experienced team at the Contact box located by clicking here.