Following closely no crime in Tennessee - WMC Action News 5 - Memphis, Tennessee

Following closely no crime in Tennessee

Police issued a ticket to the driver of a tractor trailer for yesterday's deadly accident on the I-55 Memphis Arkansas Bridge.

Two women, Linda Jones and Ruby Rice, died in the crash. Police say the driver in this semi-truck was following too closely behind the Honda civic. The Civic then wedged underneath the 18-wheeler causing a chain reaction crash.

You don't have to look far to find tailgaters, impatient drivers and tight circumstances. Stunt Driver and Instructor Max Maxwell says a fully loaded 18-wheeler riding too close is a time bomb on wheels. "On a good day with good tires it's gonna take a football field length to come to a dead stop in a panic situation," said Maxwell. He also says slick roads triples that distance. That's why Maxwell says get out of the way. "A lot of people wanna speed up that's not necsessarily gonna do you any good," he said.

The I-55 Bridge leaves little room for mistakes. "Fairly tight, claustrophobic here. You've got a major concrete barrier there. And then you've got this real big turn that comes up and you can see the marks on the wall where it's been hit multiple occasions," Maxwell noticed.

While there's no concrete following distance, Tennessee law says "the driver of a motor vehicle shall not follow another vehicle more closely than is reasonable and prudent." Maxwell says most driving experts recommend a safe distance between two to 4 seconds. "Anything above say 30 miles an hour you want to be at least three seconds. If you're 40 or 50 you wanna be four seconds. The higher the speed the more distance you want."

Maxwell says there are multiple factors that can get you into a sticky situation space, speed, weight and weather. "And it depends on what's hitting you and what you're hitting and whether you're restrained or not in the car."

So the best defense is to keep your distance.

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