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3.7-11  Statutory Negligence-  Failing to Drive a Reasonable Distance Apart

Revised to January 1, 2008

The plaintiff has claimed that the defendant was negligent in not driving a reasonable distance from the plaintiff's vehicle in violation of Connecticut General Statutes 14-240.  This statute requires that "[n]o driver of a motor vehicle shall follow another vehicle more closely than is reasonable and prudent, having regard for the speed of such vehicles, the traffic upon and the condition of the highway and weather conditions." 

If the plaintiff proves that the defendant's vehicle was traveling behind the plaintiff's vehicle in the same lane of traffic and that the distance between the vehicles was closer than was reasonable and prudent under the circumstances, then the defendant was negligent in violation of this section.


General Statutes 14-240 (a); Wrinn v. Connecticut, 234 Conn. 401 (1995) (charge is warranted under this section when there is evidence that the vehicles were simultaneously in motion when the negligent conduct occurred; a rear end collision alone is not sufficient evidence of a violation and failure to charge in such circumstances is not error).  In the case of multiple vehicle accidents, the language of the charge should be changed accordingly.


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