Rear-end crashes are among some of the worst, because many drivers don’t have any idea that they’re going to happen. A driver who is looking down at their phone or who turns around in their seat to talk to a passenger may collide with the back of another person’s vehicle without ever looking up.
Similarly, the driver of the vehicle that gets hit may not see the driver behind them approaching too quickly. They might not have the opportunity to move forward or to try to get out of the way.
Drivers can, and should, take steps to prevent rear-end crashes. Here are three tips that may help you avoid them whether you’re driving in front or behind other vehicles.
- Don’t get distracted
Whether you are the leading vehicle or are approaching another vehicle, it’s important not to get distracted. As the lead vehicle, you should check your rear-view mirror regularly to make sure that others are keeping a distance. If someone wants to pass, allow them to by moving over when you can.
As the driver in the rear, pay attention to what’s happening in front of you. Look at the driver ahead of you as well as the one in front of them to see when you need to brake. Looking away for a few seconds could lead to a crash, so make an effort to pay attention to what’s ahead of you at all times.
- Slow down sooner
No matter which vehicle you’re in, you need to slow down sooner and with more time to stop. A vehicle coming to a stop should approach that stop gently over time. If you’re the first vehicle, slowing down over time gives those behind you time to slow down, too. If you’re in the rear vehicle, give yourself enough space between yourself and the next vehicle (use the six-second rule) to slow down even if they stop suddenly.
- Don’t creep
Finally, watch out for creeping. Creeping up on another vehicle might lead to an unintentional crash. Similarly, if the front vehicle creeps up, the driver behind it might think they’re starting to move and accelerate into the rear.
These are three tips to help you avoid rear-end crashes. It’s up to everyone to be safer drivers to avoid collisions.