It’s that time of year again – the time when the roads get icy and snowy and driving becomes more dangerous. One of the most common types of car accidents is the rear-end collision. Because rear-end collisions are so destructive to both health and property, it’s useful to go over the ways to avoid them, especially during the winter months when drivers “level up” to more challenging road conditions.
Avoiding a Rear-end Collision
Rear-end collisions happen all year round, of course, not just during winter. According to a study by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, 87% of rear-end collisions are the result of the driver not paying attention to the road. It’s easy to get distracted by the radio or a passenger while driving, but texting and talking on the phone cause way too many preventable accidents. Please put your phone away while driving and stay focused on the road at all times.
Driving defensively is always a good strategy. Defensive driving assumes that the other drivers on the road are not paying full attentionand could be a threat to your safety. To limit the impact that other drivers’ mistakes could have on your car, you should:
Watch the road beyond the stretch that is right in front of you. This means watching for slow downs, traffic jams, or cars turning out in front of you. All of these might make you slam on the brakes – and cause a rear-end collision.
Watch for speeding vehicles. Reckless drivers cause accidents. Under the wrong conditions, those accidents can turn into pile-ups. When road conditions deteriorate or other people are driving unsafely, slow down or take a different route.
Check your mirrors. If the driver behind you is getting too aggressive or tailgating your car, pull over and let them pass. Sometimes that is not possible, and the only thing you can do is to slow down in your lane. This may not prevent an accident but can lessen the damage if one occurs.
Put more space between you and the car in front of you. On city roads, there should always be at least two car lengths between you and the car ahead. You should be able to see the bottom of that car’s wheels. If you can’t, you are too close to them. On the highway, you need to leave much more space. The worse the conditions of the road are, the more space you need to ensure your car’s safety. This is because you need enough road to come to a full stop, and that takes awhile. No matter how good a driver you are, you can’t stop on a dime. No one can.
Brake and slow gradually. Slamming the brakes is a great way to get into an accident, especially when the roads are icy. Speeding up and slowing down gradually gives the people in front and back of you time to react better.
Make sure your brake lights work. If they don’t, the people behind you will not know you are slowing or even stopped and they may crash into you. It’s the driver’s responsibility to keep all necessary parts of his vehicle in good operating condition, and brakes and brake lights are absolutely necessary! If you’re not sure about whether your brake lights are working, ask a friend or family member to help you check them now.
The damage that a rear-end collision can cause to your neck, muscles, bones, and joints, as well as to your car, is enough reason to focus your attention while driving. Not all rear-end collisions can be avoided, but most of them could be if we all just paid more attention while behind the wheel and put into practice some basic safety tips.
No one wants to be in a car accident, but, unfortunately, it happens to most people eventually. If your car has been in a rear-end collision, please do not hesitate to call us at Star Collision and Star of Rockford. We restore cars to pre-accident condition every day, and we can help restore yours and get you back on the road as soon as possible with the least amount of hassle in your life or with your insurance company.