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Why Are Rear-End Collisions Such a Common Type of Car Accident and How Can You Avoid Them?

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Filed under Automotive, Editorial

Once you get on the road, it is easy to focus on where you are headed and not care much about what is happening behind you. While you may be doing well to prevent bumping into the car in front of you, it is vital to ensure you do not get hit from behind. 

Rear-end collisions account for approximately 1.7 million accidents every year. Unfortunately, there is no way of staying completely out of danger. But, identifying some of the major causes listed in this guide can help you minimize your chances of getting rear-ended.

Who Is Responsible For Rear-End Collisions?

Typically, the driver that hits the other from the rear is responsible for the accident and thus liable for damages resulting from the accident. But there are a few exemptions, such as if the leading car suddenly reverses, the rear-ended vehicle has faulty brake lights, or the leading driver comes to a sudden stop. 

The fact that rear-end collisions are among the most common type of road accidents could have you thinking that determining liability is often easy. But, it is not because the defendant will more often than not admit liability, so you will need to have a car accident lawyer.

Causes of Rear-End Accidents and How to Avoid Them

Distracted Driving

Anything that takes a driver’s mind or eyes from the road is a distraction and can potentially cause an accident. 

According to government statistics, over 3,000 lives were lost due to distracted driving in 2020 alone. The most common causes of distractions for drivers include talking on the phone, reading and sending text messages, or changing channels on the car radio. 

It is impossible to have your mind on the road 100 percent. However, getting rid of all things you know could be a distraction while driving can help minimize your distractions. 

For example, tuning to your favorite station before you get on the road and putting your phone on silent or flight mode can help you reduce distractions.


Road rage has become a common occurrence on American roads in recent days. It is not uncommon to have a driver tailgating you for reasons you may not know. 

If you notice a car following too closely, don’t panic. Accelerate slowly to increase the distance between the two of you or change lanes to establish if you have a case of road rage. 

If you are sure it is a case of road rage, decelerate slowly, park your car, and only continue when it is safe. However, you should call 911 and report the case if they become confrontational.

Failing To Use Your Turn Signals Correctly

Turn signals are useful in many scenarios, including when making a left in an intersection, changing lanes on the expressway, or overtaking. 

If you intend to make a turn, change lanes, or overtake, use the turn signals correctly to ensure that the driver in your rear knows your intentions. Avoid turning them too early or too late to avoid confusing other road users. 

Also, check all your signal lights regularly to ensure they are in good working order. Faulty lights could mean the driver behind you doesn’t get a signal of your intentions to turn, which can result in tragedy.

Following Too Closely

Not everyone following too closely is a case of road rage. Sometimes it is a case of impatience that can be equally dangerous. 

The NHTSA recommends that drivers leave a three-second distance between them and the other car. However, if you are driving in less than ideal conditions like heavy rains or icy roads, you may need to leave a wider distance.

If you think that the car in your rear is following too closely, you may have to change lanes whenever it is safe to do so. Alternatively, slow down gradually, pull over, and then get back on the road when it is safe. 

Final Words

If you suffer injuries in a rear-end accident that is not your fault, you may be eligible for compensation for damages suffered. But you have to file an injury claim with the at-fault party. However, it would be best to involve a car accident attorney to increase your chances of winning.


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