Rear-end collisions: Often a result of distractions

Rear-end crashes can be caused by many things, one of which is simply not paying attention to the road. Distractions are a serious cause of collisions of many types, but they are often seen with rear-end wrecks.

In a rear-end collision, a vehicle hits you from behind. Some common causes include:

  • A driver who was following too closely behind you
  • Moving too quickly or suddenly for the driver behind you to respond
  • Distractions that take the rear driver's eyes off the road

There are many other potential causes as well.

What can you do to prevent a rear-end collision?

As the person traveling behind another driver, you can prevent a rear-end collision by giving yourself enough space to maneuver. If you are moving at 30 mph, a good rule of thumb is to remain around three vehicle lengths behind the vehicle in front of you when possible. While it might seem like a long distance, that distance will give you plenty of time to stop if the vehicle in front of you does.

Another good tip is to stay off your cellphone. Texting, taking a call or reading an email can all take your eyes off the road long enough to result in a crash, especially if traffic in front of you stops suddenly.

If you are the front driver and have another vehicle traveling behind you, you can also take steps to prevent crashes. The first thing to remember is to give the driver behind you plenty of notice before you maneuver. For example, you can turn on your turn signal several seconds before a turn, so they notice that you're going to slow and turn.

You can also slow down over a longer period of time. Slamming on your brakes won't give the driver behind you enough time to stop, and if they aren't paying attention, that action could lead to a crash. It's best if you always slow over the course of a few seconds, so they can stay a fair distance away from your vehicle.

It is everyone's responsibility to be safe on the roads. If you are traveling and want to prevent a rear-end collision, you need to make sure you're paying attention to the road and the people driving around you. Being aware of the roadways, hazards and drivers around you can help you avoid getting into a crash with someone who isn't following traffic safety rules.

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