About 28% of the accidents in the US every year are rear-end collisions. That probably shouldn’t come as a surprise to anyone because most of us only pay attention to the vehicle directly in front of us. Many drivers rarely take in all of their surroundings before making decisions behind the wheel. Lets apply a little science to our driving and see if can help a few of our readers avoid a car crash. The transportation Research Center of Ohio conducted a study. They had sixty drivers drive 6,500 miles on both highway and city streets to see how they manage the car ahead. The first thing that was noted is drivers didn’t always pay attention to how close they were to the car in front of them or how fast they were traveling. If the gap between the driver and the car in front of them was steady for a period of time the driver tended to pay less attention to this, falling into a sense of complacency because the car in front of them hadn’t applied the brake in a while. The study did find that glances away were significantly less in time if a car was in front of the driver than if there was no car immediately in front of them. If a car was in front of the driver, glances away were between a tenth of a second to a full second in length. If there was no car directly in front of the driver glances away were anywhere between 1.62 to 2 seconds in length.
Here are 8 Easy Steps to Avoid Causing a Rear End Car Crash
Step 1: Your yearly car checkup should include:
You should always ensure that your car’s traction is at its best.
Step 2: Try anticipating traffic halts beforehand. Look for brake lights and try looking ahead of the car that is right in front of you.
Step 3: Don’t forget to check on the traffic behind you. Make sure your rearview and side view mirrors are in the best position possible before you start driving. Let tailgaters pass. You can accomplish this either by switching lanes or slowing down to allow the tailgater to pass.
Step 4: Maintain your speed with the flow of traffic. Speeding and weaving in out of other cars is a recipe for disaster. You never know when someone may need to suddenly apply the brakes.
Step 5: Maintain enough space between you and the other car. Again, you never know when the car in front of you may suddenly apply the brakes. Always remember the 2 second rule. You can measure this by using landmarks. If you reach a landmark such as a sign or traffic light less than 2 seconds after the car in front of you does you are following too closely. Keep in mind that no matter what happens, if you hit the car in front of you the fault lies with you.
Step 6: Use your turn signal whenever switching lanes and ensure you are giving the drivers around you ample time to see you are making the switch. If you do need to brake it is better to apply the brakes slowly and several times to alert the cars behind you.
Step 7: Maintain complete focus while driving. Don’t check your smart phone, eat, change radio stations or do anything else that will distract you from the task at hand. No matter how brief the distraction is it can be deadly. Federal estimates suggest that distraction contributes to 16% of all fatal crashes, leading to around 5,000 deaths every year
Step 8: Avoid being in the blind spot of another driver for too long. They may not be able to see you and have to make a split second decision to switch lanes or swerve.
Following these 8 simple steps will help you avoid being the cause of a car accident. Connecticut’s roads can be very dangerous at times with our extreme weather conditions. It’s imperative that you do what you can to avoid a car collision that may cause injury or worse.
If you have been involved in a car accident you should seek legal counsel to understand your rights and best action to be taken.