Avoiding Rear-End Collisions

Rear-end collisions are so common that most of us will experience one or more during our lifetime. We can’t prevent all rear-end collisions, but there are some common-sense things that we can do to avoid crashing into the car in front of us, and also lessen the chances of other drivers rear-ending us.

Keep a safe following distance

It’s not rocket science to know that rear-end collisions happen when the car in front of us brakes unexpectedly and we’re so close on his tail, we don’t have enough space to stop before crashing into him. It follows that increasing your following distance is the sensible thing to do. The National Highway Safety Administration recommends the three-second rule: when the car in front of you passes a fixed object like a tree or a bridge, count how many seconds it takes you to reach the same fixed object. If it’s less than three seconds, reduce your speed and increase your following distance.  Increase your following distance to six seconds if it’s raining, snowing, or foggy; rear-end collisions increase dramatically when the roads are wet and slippery.

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Check brakes and tires often

If your brakes aren’t in good working order, or your tires are worn out, rear-ending the car in front of you becomes much more likely even if you do keep a safe following distance.  Check your brakes and tires regularly and don’t put off repairing or replacing them if they’re not up to par.

Put down the smartphone

Using a smartphone while driving is a widespread cause of rear-end collisions as well as other accidents. We know this very well but still, some of us can’t resist keeping that smartphone within easy reach of our ears and texting fingers. Resist temptation by putting your phone on vibrate and placing it in the trunk of your car where you can’t hear or see it.

Don’t drive too fast or too slowly

Many rear-end collisions are caused by driving too fast and not being able to stop in time when the unexpected happens, so don’t go over the speed limit. It’s equally dangerous to drive too slowly: other drivers may assume you’re going the same speed as they are and be on your tail before they know it.  Speeding may be the number one traffic offense in Arizona, but it’s against the law to drive too slowly too.

Be considerate of other drivers

While it’s vital that we avoid rear-ending others, we can also help other drivers to avoid crashing into us if we do a few simple things:

    Make sure that your brake taillights are working correctly so that the car behind you is alerted when you’re slowing down or stopping.

    Slow down gradually before coming to a stop instead of slamming on the brakes at the last second

    Use your blinkers so that the driver behind you knows that you’re about to slow down and make a turn or change lanes on the highway.

Final Thoughts

One-third of all car crashes in the U.S.A. are rear-end collisions and Arizona is no different. We can’t avoid all rear-end collisions; a split-second of inattention, or a hidden pothole, and we’ll be exchanging insurance information with another driver. But if we don’t drive under the influence, and follow the common-sense rules above, the chances are that our car won’t be the one of three needing rear-end repairs this year.

If even after trying to avoid a crash you find yourself in an accident and in need of repairs, call Orlando Auto Body at 480-351-1734.