Collision Prevention

How to Avoid Rear End Collisions

The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) reports that nearly 30 percent of all automobile accidents in the United States is the rear end collision. That’s nearly one third of all accidents!

There are many ways you can take action now to prevent a rear end collision from happening. We’ve put together a list of some of our favorites.

Leave more space between you and the car in front of you

This is the number one way to avoid rear end collisions! The more space you leave, the more time you have to react to sudden braking and the more room you have to stop your vehicle before it hits the one in front of you.

Check your mirrors often

You should already be checking your mirrors every 6 seconds or so, as well as every time you stop or brake. Pay attention when you stop; is the vehicle behind you stopping as well? If not, you may be able to give them extra time and space to do so.

Focus on driving, don’t be distracted

Distracted driving is another top cause of collisions of all kinds. Keep your eyes on the road and you’re more likely to notice the brakes in front of you, the car cutting you off, or the driver who doesn’t see you.

Brake slowly

When you’re coming up to a stop sign, a red light, or another obstacle, begin braking early (without riding the brakes) and stop slowly so the person behind you can see that you’re slowing down and has time to react.

Make sure your brake lights work

Brake lights are a safety feature and it’s important that they’re working properly. Without them, the car behind you cannot tell (easily) that you’re braking, and you are more likely to get rear ended.

Pay attention to the driving conditions

Yes, you need to brake when the car in front of you brakes. But if the roads are icy, it’s deer season, children are playing nearby, there are bicyclists on the road, construction is happening… it’s important to leave extra room, adjust your driving habits, and be ready for sudden braking.

Keep your view clear

No, you cannot see everything that the driver in front of you can see. But, you can leave enough space between you and the large vehicle in front of you to see around it, or, you can pass so that your view is clearer.

Springtime Pedestrians and Cyclists

Spring has arrived, the weather is getting warmer, and that means pedestrians and cyclists are coming out of hibernation and they’re on the streets and sidewalks. It may be wet, which means lower visibility and slicker roads.

In order to prevent or appropriately handle pedestrian and cyclist collisions, keep the following in mind.

Driver Safety Tips

Although pedestrians and cyclists have their own set of safety rules, as a driver, you’re the one who would be held responsible in the case of an accident. So, keep the following list in mind when you’re driving through towns and cities.

  • Drive slowly when crossing sidewalks or pulling into our out of driveways. You may cross paths with children or others who have the right of way.
  • When turning at an intersection, first check for oncoming traffic, then check for cyclists and pedestrians before you turn.
  • When turning left, it’s especially important to check for oncoming cyclists, and to look to your left for pedestrians.
  • When turning right, be aware of cyclists coming behind you (they should be on your left, but may not always be) and to look for pedestrians crossing at the light.
  • Never pass a vehicle that is stopped at a crosswalk; you may not see the pedestrians crossing in front of them.
  • If you see a vehicle pulled over or parked on the side of the road, leave enough room for a door to open or a pedestrian to enter or exit the vehicle, just in case they do.
  • Keep a safe distance between you and the vehicles around you. Potholes or other road hazards can cause abrupt stopping or turning.
  • When parallel parking, check your mirror before opening the door; approaching cyclists may not know you’re about to exit.
  • If you can, fold your mirror in, especially on tight streets, when parallel parking so that cyclists have room to get by.
  • Avoid distracted driving. Pedestrians and cyclists are already more difficult to see because they’re smaller than vehicles, so it’s up to you to stay focused on the road.
  • Follow the speed limit. Driving too fast increases the likelihood that pedestrians and cyclists will misjudge the time it takes you to arrive at a crossing and the likelihood of an accident.
  • Always use turn signals when turning or changing lanes so that other vehicles, pedestrians, and cyclists can see where you’re going.
  • Always check your blind spot for cyclists.
  • Only pass a cyclist when there is an open lane next to you; it is safe to pass a cyclist when it is safe to pass a vehicle.

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