1.7 million rear-end collisions take place each year in the US, making them the most frequent type of collision in the country. While rear-end collisions are quite common, there’s luckily plenty that you can do to prevent this type of collision from happening.
Check out this guide to discover the top tips for preventing rear-end collisions.
1. Maintain a Safe Driving Distance
One of the most effective things you can do to prevent rear-end accidents is to maintain a safe driving distance from the car in front of you.
Whether you’re driving down a rural road, city street, or highway, it’s important to keep a safe distance. By following at a safe distance, you’ll be able to perceive the car in front of you braking. This will give you plenty of time to put your foot on the brake and come to a stop safely.
So, the question is, what is a safe following distance? The National Safety Council, as well as several state DMVs, recommend that you follow the three-second rule. To follow this rule, all you need to do is choose an object near or on the road in front of you.
Make sure it’s a fixed, non-moving point, such as a tree or billboard. As the back of the car in front of you passes that object, start counting to three.
If you finish counting before you pass the object, then that means you’re maintaining a safe driving distance. This will help prevent rear-end crashes and ensure you don’t need to call a rear-end accident attorney.
2. Increase Following Distance When Necessary
The 3-second driving rule should be followed in situations where driving conditions are good. However, depending on the conditions of the road, three seconds may not be enough.
Dangerous road conditions can make it more difficult for you to perceive hazards and make it harder for you to brake your vehicle safely. You should follow at a distance of four seconds or more when:
- Driving in low visibility
- Driving on slippery roads
- Being tailgated
- Following a large vehicle
- Following a vehicle that may stop frequently (such as busses, postal service vehicles, or garbage trucks)
3. Be Aware of Your Surroundings
While scanning the road ahead of you is important, you should also be aware of what’s going on behind you and beside you.
If you encounter an unexpected situation, such as a stalled car, debris on the road, or an accident, you’ll have alternative options other than slamming your brakes. For example, you may be able to change lanes, speed up, or turn instead.
To make yourself more aware of your surroundings, get yourself in the habit of frequently checking your mirrors. Before you change speed, always take a quick peek in your mirrors.
You should also make sure you’re not driving in another driver’s blind spot, and make sure you’re never driving directly next to another vehicle.
Additionally, when you come to a stop, make sure you’re leaving enough space for the car in front of you to pull over or change lanes if necessary.
4. Be Predictable
Last but not least, make sure you drive in a predictable manner. This means letting other drivers know your intentions in a clear manner.
It can be irritating, not to mention dangerous, when another driver turns without a signal or stops abruptly. When you come to a stop, make sure you’re doing so in a slow, gradual manner.
Also, make sure to activate your turn signal well ahead of time before you change lanes or turn. And, make sure you check your signal lights on a regular basis to make sure they’re in good working order.
As you can see, there’s a lot that you can do to prevent rear-end crashes. Comment below if you have any questions!