Avoiding distractions is key to preventing rear-end crashes

Rear-end collisions happen often. In fact, there are around 1.7 million rear-end crashes each year in the United States. Many times, those crashes are a result of people looking away from the road. Someone might, for example, look down at a text message and not look back up in time to see stopped traffic.

When rear-end crashes happen, they're often the fault of the rear vehicle. Here are a few examples of how rear-end crashes happen.

1. A crash due to a text message alert

One driver comes to a stop at an intersection. The driver behind them is slowing down but looks away for just a moment to check an alert on their phone. In the few seconds they thought that the other driver would move, the other driver stopped instead. They kept moving forward and rear-ended the vehicle in front.

2. A crash due to another crash and rubbernecking

Driver A is traveling slowly because of delayed traffic ahead. Driver B, traveling behind them, doesn't notice the slowed traffic because of rubbernecking. They crash into the vehicle in front of them as a result.

These are two cases where simply paying attention would help prevent a rear-end crashes.

What can you do to prevent crashes?

Avoiding distractions is the primary way that you can help prevent collisions. Don't use your phone when you drive, avoid reprogramming your GPS unit, try not to change radio stations and stay focused on what is ahead of you in traffic. Though there are many distractions out there, if you're cautious, you can limit how often you get distracted and potentially prevent a serious rear-end collision.

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