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While the driver of the following automobile is charged with operating his car so as to have it under control, he is only held liable for not avoiding foreseeable dangers and emergencies whether or not created by the forward driver's negligence.
Defendant's following vehicle struck plaintiffs' lead vehicle, when plaintiffs' vehicle abruptly decelerated because a dog suddenly jumped from a passing car and ran into its path. Plaintiffs filed suit to recover for personal injuries, property damage, and medical expenses, alleging that the driver of defendant's vehicle was guilty of negligence which consisted of following too closely, failing to keep a proper lookout, and not keeping his vehicle under proper control. The trial court dismissed the suit. Plaintiffs appealed.
Under the circumstances, could the defendant be held liable for the injuries sustained by the plaintiffs?
The court affirmed the judgment, holding that the driver of defendant's vehicle was only held liable for not avoiding foreseeable dangers and emergencies whether or not created by the forward driver's negligence, and was not held to the duty of anticipating an occurrence such as where a dog suddenly darted across the path of the lead vehicle.