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Preventing Rear End Accidents

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Posted By Legal Team | December 7 2023 | Car Accidents

Rear-end collisions—or tailgate accidents—are among the most common accident types in the United States, resulting in around 3,600 deaths per year and many thousands of injuries. Whiplash is a painful injury often resulting from rear-end collisions. Whiplash causes temporary disability in many accident victims due to damage from the rapid back and forth, whiplike motion of the head and neck during a collision. 

Rear-end accidents make up almost 18 percent of all two-vehicle collisions, yet they are almost entirely preventable. Drivers can minimize their risk of causing or becoming the victim of a rear-end collision by increasing awareness of the cause of this type of accident and how to prevent it from occurring.

How to Prevent Being Rear-Ended

When drivers remain alert to their surroundings, they can minimize their risk of being rear-ended in an accident.

Slow Down Gradually when Stopping

The most common cause of rear-end collisions is coming to an abrupt stop on the road. When approaching a stop sign, or anytime you need to come to a stop, always slow down gradually before stopping.

Leave Extra Space Between Your Vehicle and the One in Front When Stopping

When coming to a stop, leave plenty of room between your vehicle and the one in front of you. Experienced Atlanta car accident lawyers recommend that not only does this prevent you from accidentally rear-ending the vehicle in front, but it also leaves room for escape should you notice a vehicle approaching from behind and not stopping.

Frequently Check Your Mirrors

Drivers should get into the habit of frequently checking their mirrors so they have time to safely evade a rapidly approaching vehicle from behind if it doesn’t appear to be coming to a stop. Drivers should glance at their rear-view mirrors about every eight seconds while driving and every five seconds when slowing or stopping.

Let Tailgating Vehicles Pass

Tailgaters may make you feel annoyed, but never step on your brakes to scare them, since this typically only escalates the problem and could cause an accident. Instead, let them pass by slowing down or merging out of their lane.

Check Your Brake Lights

It’s important to check your brake lights frequently to ensure they are both functioning correctly. Though the rear driver in a tailgating accident is typically at fault and liable for damages, if the driver in front has no brake lights, they may be held liable for damages in a rear-end accident since the driver in the back may not be able to see that the vehicle in front is stopping..

How to Prevent Causing a Rear-End Collision

Atlanta personal injury attorneys suggest you can prevent becoming the cause of a rear-end collision by remaining alert and avoiding distractions while behind the wheel. Distracted driving causes a significant percentage of car accidents, including rear-end collisions. In the average five seconds it takes to read a text message, a car going 55mph travels the length of a football field while the driver’s eyes are off the road. 

It’s also important to keep the following preventative tips in mind:

  • Keep your eyes on the road ahead, including beyond the vehicle in front of you so you’re aware of hazards ahead that may cause the car in front of you to stop
  • Keep a safe following distance in traffic
  • Don’t exceed the speed limit since this increases stopping distances
  • Use the collision-avoiding technology available in many newer vehicles

Not all accidents are preventable but rear-end collisions are the most preventable type of collision when drivers adhere to the speed limit, use proper following distances, and practice vigilance while behind the wheel.

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