Rear-end collisions are one of the most common types of car accidents in Goldsboro and other parts of North Carolina. Because most rear-end crashes occur because drivers follow too closely, drive too fast or drive while distracted, they are almost always completely preventable. Here are a few tips to help you to avoid getting involved in these collisions:
Pay attention to the flow of traffic ahead of you.
One way to anticipate whether you will need to stop is to keep a proper look at the flow of traffic ahead of you. If you are traveling on an interstate route such as I-95 and likely traveling at a high speed, you should look several car lengths ahead of you. When you keep a good look at the flow of traffic, it can help you to avoid slamming into the car ahead of you if traffic suddenly slows down or comes to an abrupt halt.
Pay attention to the driver behind you.
Your ability to avoid a rear-end collision involves more than looking ahead. You should also keep a watch on how traffic is moving behind you. As you come to a stop, use your rearview mirror to see whether the driver behind you is coming to a stop as well. If the driver is not, be prepared to act. For instance, you may honk your horn to get the driver’s attention, or you may identify a way to safely escape the situation by taking action such as making a safe and legal lane change.
Slow down gradually.
It only makes sense: When it is time to stop, you should do so gradually and cautiously. Unfortunately, too many drivers stop abruptly. Often, drivers speed up to a traffic light and then suddenly slam on the brakes once they realize they cannot beat the light. By coming to a stop slowly, you encourage the drivers behind you to slow their speed gradually, too, reducing the risk of rear-end car accidents for everyone in the line of traffic.
Give other vehicles plenty of room.
The worst thing that you can do as a driver is to constantly be on another driver’s tail or to stop within only a couple of inches of another car. When you drive this way, the risk of you hitting that other driver increases dramatically – especially if the other driver stops quickly or you get hit by another vehicle from behind.
Rather than following closely or stopping with only minimal amounts of space between you and the other driver, always allow multiple car lengths’ worth of space while driving. In fact, DefensiveDriving.com recommends that you give the vehicle in front of you at least two seconds’ worth of space. Ultimately, you should always stop a few feet behind any stationary vehicles.
Go the speed limit.
A rear-end collision should not be an issue if you are obeying the speed limit, the driver ahead of you is going the speed limit and you are giving the driver plenty of room. On the other hand, if the driver in front of you is traveling at the posted speed, but you are speeding, then you are putting everyone at risk of an accident. You are increasing your chances of hitting the other driver from behind. The faster you drive, the more stopping distance you will need. Additionally, the faster you go, the more damage you will cause if you collide with the vehicle in front.
Put away any distractions.
Distractions are one of the top causes of rear-end crashes. Avoiding rear-end accidents for many drivers can be as simple as putting away a cell phone or other hand-held device and focusing on the road ahead. Even looking away from the road for a few seconds can be dangerous. Citing studies by the Virginia Tech Transportation Institute, Distraction.gov reports that a vehicle can travel the length of a football field within five seconds if the vehicle is traveling at a speed of 55 mph.
Maintain your brakes and brake lights.
An accident that results from your brakes not working properly can carry serious consequences for you and the driver which you strike from behind. For this reason, you should regularly get your brakes checked and serviced. (Check out this article at JDPower.com to learn more about signs that indicate you need new brakes.)
Not only should you check your brakes regularly, but you should keep an eye on your brake lights, too. Your brake lights tell drivers behind you that you are coming to a stop and lets them know that they, too, should slow down. If your brake lights are not working, drivers may be unaware that you are slowing. This can increase the risk of a crash.
Never “tap” your brakes.
When one driver is being tailgated by another driver, the driver in front may tap his or her brakes in an aggressive manner in an attempt to tell the rear driver to “back off.” While doing so may certainly get the other driver’s attention, it is never safe. The action may even incite road rage in the rear driver or may slow your vehicle to a point that the other driver hits your vehicle because he or she is following too closely. The best thing that you can do if another driver is following too closely is to change lanes or to pull over to a service station or another safe area.
Involved in a Rear End Collision? Get Help from a Goldsboro Car Accident Attorney
When you are involved in a rear-end crash that you believe was caused by another party’s negligence, you should immediately get in touch with an attorney who can help you to pursue the compensation that you deserve. This is especially true if the insurance adjuster challenges its insured driver’s liability.