Did you know that rear-end collisions are the most frequently occurring type of car accident in the United States? A rear-end collision takes place when a car collides with another vehicle from behind. Rear-end collisions occur for a number of reasons: a distracted driver texting and hitting the vehicle ahead at a red light, a sudden slow-down on the interstate causing a four-car-pile-up, or a sudden stop without warning. These common mishaps take place every day around the country. Although rear-end collisions are rarely tragic, they can cause unnecessary injuries and damages that could be avoided by paying attention and using common sense behind the wheel.
Rear-End Collision Prevention Guide
1. Check your mirrors
By checking your mirrors more frequently, you will become more aware of your surroundings on the road. Try checking your side and rearview mirrors every eight seconds or so, and always check them when coming to a stop at a stop sign or red light. Since you can’t control the driver behind you, it’s important to stay aware of their behavior by checking to see if they are properly slowing down behind you.
2. Allow plentiful space between you and other drivers
It is necessary to keep a proper distance between yourself and the vehicle in front of you to avoid a rear-end collision. A good rule of thumb is to follow the three-second rule that many DMV’s recommend. The three-second rule asks that you locate an object while driving, such as a sign, and start counting to three when the car in front of you passes the object. You are too close to the rear-end of their car if you pass the object before the three-second rule is completed. You have maintained a solid distance from the car ahead if you finish counting to three before passing your appointed object. Start practicing the three-second rule to become a safer driver today.
Also, set the tone for safe driving by slowly stopping at red lights and stop signs. This will cause the vehicle behind you (and the vehicles behind them) to slow down more gradually, too. Suddenly stopping at a red light or stop sign is a recipe for disaster and can greatly enhance the risk of rear-end collisions.
3. Pay attention in hazardous conditions
When hazards arise, such as ice, rain, or fog, your brakes need to work harder. Avoid a rear-end collision by allowing some extra distance between you and the vehicle in front of you when driving in these conditions to avoid a rear-end collision. Following a large vehicle or a vehicle that frequently stops will also require some additional driving distance. Large vehicles can block your view, so make sure to stay far enough behind to have sufficient visibility.
4. Check all of your lights
Stay predictable on the road by warning other drivers that you’re coming to a stop with working brake lights. If you slam on your brakes without brake lights, the driver behind you will not know that you are preparing to stop and could slam into you from behind. This could also cause other vehicles to crash into cars ahead of them. Avoid a rear-end collision domino effect by simply checking that your break lights are in working order.
Using your blinkers before making a turn is necessary to let drivers know that you are turning or switching lanes. However, you need to make sure that your blinkers are accurately working and no fuses have blown. Most cars will let you know that a fuse has blown by rapidly blinking when you turn on your blinker.
5. Avoid distracted driving
Putting the phone away and avoiding distractions on the road will significantly help you avoid a rear-end collision. Think about the damages you could prevent by waiting to respond to a text message until you arrive at your destination. Those few seconds of texting are dangerous and can lead to property and/or personal damages. Also, try your best to stay aware of your surroundings while eating on the road. Sometimes life gets busy and meals need to take place in the car; therefore, if you find yourself needing to eat while driving, remind yourself to focus on the road and stay safe.
6. Find an escape route
Stay ahead of the game by identifying an escape route to get out of the way of unsafe drivers. If a car is charging behind you, you can quickly get out of the way by veering into a turning lane, shoulder, or even driving onto a sidewalk. Dodge a rear-end collision altogether by escaping the situation if possible.
7. Avoid blind spots
Many vehicles have blind spots, which make it difficult for drivers to perfectly see all of their surroundings at all times. Try to stay out of blind spots and avoid driving directly beside another vehicle; the driver could change lanes without looking and slam into your car.
8. Follow the rules of the road
Simple common sense can keep you and your car in check. By staying alert, coming to a complete stop and waiting three seconds at stop signs, slowing down at yellow lights, following speed limits, and accurately using your blinkers and headlights, you can easily bypass rear-end collisions. There is no such thing as being too safe on the road. Practice preventative safety on the road each day to safeguard yourself and surrounding drivers when going from A to B.
Be prepared for life’ unexpected accidents by speaking with an ABC Insurance agent about better choices for car insurance. If you are involved in a rear-end collision in Louisiana or Texas, your auto insurance policy from ABC Insurance could help protect you from hefty repair costs. Call 800-708-0123, click or visit a friendly agent near you for a free car insurance quote today.