What Are the Top 4 Causes of Read-End Collisions?

Rear-end collisions are one of the most frequently occurring types of automobile accidents in the U.S. In fact, according to the NHTSA, nearly 30% of all car mishaps are rear-ended collisions. These types of collisions, in which one vehicle strikes the back of another cause people to suffer serious injuries, such as whiplash, that change their lives. Drivers are required to maintain a safe distance from the driver ahead of them. In most cases, rear-end crashes take place when careless drivers fail to do this. Top reasons why drivers cause these accidents to include:

1. Driver Distraction

Driver inattention is the most common cause of rear-end collisions. Visit DaveAbels.com to learn more about the causes of rear-end crashes. Statistics maintained by the NHTSA show that 63% of all rear-end crashes were caused by driver distraction. One common form of driver inattention is known as “look but did not see”. It occurs during periods of pre-occupation when a driver is looking at the hazard in front of them but is lost in their thoughts and is oblivious of the vehicle in front of them in plain sight. Cell phone use is another large contributing factor to the frequency of rear-end collisions. Just about any type of distraction- turning to talk to a passenger, adjusting the radio, drinking, eating or reading – can cause a rear-end accident.

2. Tailgating

A driver is definitely disobeying the rule to keep a safe distance from the car ahead when they are purposely tailgating another vehicle. When drivers tailgate, they significantly reduce their stopping distance or the distance needed to brake safely. Another crucial driving element drivers sacrifice when tailgating is reaction time. Reaction time is the time a driver needs to physically respond to the brain’s perception. Reaction time entails recognizing the light has changed, deciding to break or continue. The National Safety Council (NSC) recommends following the 3-second rule. Think of the safe driving distance in terms of time, not space.

3. Speeding

It is more difficult to avoid a collision when you’re driving above a reasonable speed for the traffic and roadway condition. Rear-end accidents occur when a driver crashes in the vehicle in front of them because they were unable to slow down in time. Speeding is the main cause of secondary rear-end collisions. These occur when there is one accident on the road and other vehicles come up on the crash as they do not have ample time to brake safely. Sometimes, there can be up to 10 cars involved in 3 to 4 different impacts.

4. Drunk Driving

Impaired drivers are less attentive and have a slower reaction time behind the wheel. Additionally, they could be drowsy or fall asleep at the wheel. Any of these conditions can cause them to slam into another vehicle.

There are many other major causes of rear-end crashes, such as hazardous weather conditions, drowsy driving, dangerous lane changes or failure to yield. It is important to know these factors to ensure you’re not subject to any of these conditions.  If you have been injured in a rear-end collision, it is imperative to exchange info with the other driver and get contact information from any who have witnessed the crash. The position of the vehicles involved and photos of the damaged vehicles involved can also prove useful. It is also advisable that you seek medical attention and then contact an auto accident attorney.