How Can Greensboro NC Drivers Avoid Rear-End Collisions?
If you drive, at some point you’ll probably be involved in a rear-end collision. According to a recent study from the National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) (1), nearly half of all two-vehicle crashes in the U.S. every year are of the rear-end variety. And, those accidents cause thousands of injuries, hundreds of deaths, and billions of dollars annually in collision-related losses. Sadly, most rear-end motor vehicle accidents are avoidable if drivers would simply use the following safe driving tips.
KEEP YOUR DISTANCE
Whether you’re driving on a city street, highway, rural road, or through a work zone, the first step in preventing a rear-end collision is keeping a safe distance between you and the car in front of you. That will give you enough time to react and brake your vehicle safely if the other driver suddenly stops or swerves.
While driving in normal road conditions, use this “3-second rule”:
- Pick out a stationary object near the road, like a tree, sign or overpass.
- As soon as the rear end of the vehicle you’re following passes that object, start counting: one thousand one, one thousand two, one thousand three.
- If you pass the object before you finish “one thousand three”, you’re following too close.
Driving in more dangerous situations means adjusting your following distance to at least 4 seconds. Here are times when that becomes necessary:
- Slippery roads. Rain, ice, snow or even fallen leaves can cause slick pavement.
- Poor visibility. In addition to falling precipitation, you could also have trouble seeing because of fog, flying dust or the sun’s glare.
- Following a large vehicle. If you’re behind a big semi with an oversized load, hang back further to stay out of their blind spots and to give yourself room to see.
- Behind a motorcycle. A motorcycle can stop much faster than you can, so allow plenty of room when you’re behind one.
- Following vehicles that stop frequently. School buses, garbage trucks and postal vehicles stop frequently. Some also stop at all railroad crossings, so always give yourself a following cushion of 4 or more seconds.
EXPECT THE UNEXPECTED
Stay alert for unexpected road hazards, like debris, stalled cars or large potholes so that you will have time to evade them without slamming on your brakes or veering suddenly into another lane. Other ways to prepare for the unexpected include:
- Stay out of other drivers’ blind spots, as they may not see you when switching lanes.
- Check your mirrors frequently while driving, notably before turning, while merging or changing lanes.
- When you come to a stop at a traffic signal, leave enough space between your car and the vehicle in front of you just in case you need to pull to the side of the road or change lanes quickly- like when an emergency vehicle is approaching from behind.
Don’t leave other drivers guessing when you’re turning, stopping or changing lanes. Instead, drive more “predictably” by:
- Not slamming on your brakes, but rather slowing down gradually when approaching a stop sign, red light, or preparing to turn.
- Making sure that your brake lights and headlights are in good working order.
- Activating your turn signal well before your intended turn to alert the driver behind you.
- Not squeezing in front of another driver when changing lanes, but instead always give them ample notice by signaling.
OTHER DRIVING TIPS
Here are some additional ways to help prevent rear-end collisions:
- Follow the posted speed limits, especially in school and work zones.
- Buy a vehicle with rear-end crash avoidance safety technologies.
- Avoid distracted driving, like texting or talking on your phone.
- Never drive while under the influence of alcohol or drugs, as those slow down your reaction time.
GETTING YOUR CAR REPAIRED AFTER IT’S BEEN REAR-ENDED
Even when using these rear-end crash prevention tips, accidents happen. When your ride’s been rear-ended, promptly take it to one of the auto body or glass repair shops featured in the nationwide Carwise referral network. All shops listed through Carwise are I-CAR and ASE-certified, and have the technicians, equipment and services to restore your ride like new again promptly and reliably.
Most also speak directly with insurance companies, so you don’t have to, and warranty their work to restore your peace-of-mind. And, it’s so easy to follow the repair status of your vehicle from anywhere by downloading the convenient Carwise app to your mobile device! To search your zip code now for a customer-reviewed auto body or glass repair shop nearby, please visit: Autobodygreensboro.com now.
- Special investigation report from the National Traffic Safety Board; 2015: The Use of Forward Collision Avoidance Systems to Prevent and Mitigate Rear-End Crashes.