A reader asks about an incident where a ladder had fallen off a truck traveling on the highway. The driver following behind the truck took evasive action that resulted in a collision. This question raises many important issues including hazard avoidance, duty at a collision and load securement.
An object of any sort falling off of the vehicle in front of you is definitely a surprise. The actions available to you are usually either to drive over the object, collide with or swerve around it. If you have maintained two to four seconds following distance and made sure to keep an open space beside you on multi laned roadway you will have given yourself both time to think and react as well as the room to do it. Always leave yourself an out!
The driver of this truck was indirectly involved in a collision on a highway and had duties that he must fulfill. These duties included stopping or immediately returning to the scene, rendering assistance and providing details in writing concerning himself, his vehicle and insurance to other drivers involved, the police and any witness that demanded it.