If someone rear-ends your vehicle, they are at fault in most cases. However, that’s not a reason to allow it to happen. Every driver can help prevent these types of collisions.
Common causes of rear-end collisions include slick roads, distracted driving, and tailgating.
The following are seven tips on how to prevent getting rear-ended while driving.
1. Practice Defensive Driving
Principles of defensive driving include:
- Looking ahead
- Slowing down at intersections
- Expecting other drivers to make mistakes
- Maintaining a safe following distance
All defensive driving principles are important. In terms of preventing a rear-end collision, let’s focus on maintaining a safe following distance.
For every 10 miles of speed, defensive driving asks you to maintain a car length of free space in front of you. The faster your speed, the longer it takes for you to react and stop the vehicle. Plus, the vehicle requires the runway to come to a complete stop.
If you can’t come to a complete stop promptly, you will smack into the car in front of you. Leaving six car lengths in front of you when traveling at 60 mph ensures that you will not rear-end a vehicle.
2. Check Your Blind Spots
Driving requires an awareness of your surroundings including your blind spots. Side view mirrors became a mandatory vehicle safety feature in the 1960s. They help you check your blind spots.
Even when traffic flows at a good pace, keep an eye on the vehicles around you. Eventually, you’re going to change lanes or make a turn. You should know with time to spare if you need to adjust your speed before merging.
If you come to a sudden stop, you cause a negative ripple effect that easily leads to several rear-end collisions.
3. Avoid Distracted Driving
The number of campaign ads warning drivers against distracted driving is numerous. It’s similar to the ads warning the population against the dangers of consuming drugs.
Drivers will find several tech-focused gadgets on the market that allow them to multitask while driving. However, it’s best to avoid them altogether.
In addition, avoid eating, drinking, and smoking while driving. The year 2019 saw 3,149 deaths caused by distracted driving.
4. Keep Up with Car Maintenance
A common reason drivers get rear-ended is applying their brakes too late. When you plan to stop, the vehicle behind you requires a warning. Your brake lights act as that warning.
If highway patrol spots vehicles with non-working brake or tail lights, they pull the driver over; it’s a road hazard.
If you do your part in preventing a rear-end collision to your vehicle, you maintain your rights as a driver. When a car rear-ends you, you can recover damages. Speak with a car accident attorney to receive counsel.
5. Plan Your Trip
Every individual who uses the road has a responsibility to others. If you plan your trip, you have time to arrive at your destination.
Tailgating is a common reason why rear-end collisions occur. Finding yourself behind someone driving below the speed limit is frustrating. However, tailgating them puts you and the other vehicle in danger.
Plus, if a highway patrol office sees it, they’ll pull you over.
6. Check the Weather
Some weather causes road conditions to make driving challenging. For example, when it rains for the first time in the fall, the moisture mixes with the oil. The combination causes slicker roads and an environment for hydroplaning.
Plus, it takes longer to stop a vehicle.
When the weather creates challenging driving conditions, ask yourself if the trip is necessary? If it is, drive with extra caution.
7. Use Your Signals
Vehicle turn signals became mandatory in the late 1960s. The signals let the car behind you know that you plan to merge into another lane or turn. It allows them time to adjust their speed.
If the vehicle behind you is tailgating, your turn signal can get them off your bumper. They must slow down or change lanes. Otherwise, they risk hitting your vehicle.
It’s possible to prevent a good percentage of rear-end collisions. An estimated 30% of all vehicle accidents result from rear-end situations. Those who remain distracted-free while driving can focus on the road. By watching your blind spots, you protect yourself and others.