19 Oct

6 Tips To Help Florida Drivers Avoid Rear-End Accidents

Car Accidents

tips to help Florida drivers avoid rear-end accidents

Rear-end accidents are generally considered to be the “least” dangerous type of car accident, but the truth is that there is no “safe” car accident type. While it is true that an accident caused by two passenger vehicles involved in a fender bender is probably not going to result in as serious injuries or in fatalities as a head-on collision or T-bone, rear-end collisions are the most common collision type, and they can pose a serious threat to drivers, passengers, and pedestrians.

An article from The Washington Post pointed out that there are nearly 1.7 million rear-end crashes on American roadways each year. These accidents cause 500,000 injuries and 1,700 fatalities – no small numbers. When you take into account the fact that even incurring minor whiplash can cost hundreds or thousands of dollars in chiropractor visits, physical therapy, doctor visits, medication, etc. to treat, (not counting the property damage), and that many rear-end accidents cause more severe injuries than this, it makes sense that rear-end collisions are more “serious” than at first meets the eye.

The Florida Law Group advocates for Florida auto accident victims who were injured after being rear-ended or after rear-ending someone else when the collision wasn’t their fault. Our elite legal team has over 100 years of combined experience litigating accident cases, so we are familiar with how annoying, destructive, and potentially complicated rear-end accidents can be. Determining liability and making a personal injury claim in a rear-end accident can be complex; not all rear-end accidents are 100% the fault of a single driver, which is where comparative negligence can come into play, but sometimes the fault is 100% of a single driver. We know that though most Florida drivers do not believe that they have control over being rear-ended, but the truth is that there are measures drivers can take to stay safer on the road and decrease their chances of both being rear-ended by someone else and of rear-ending someone else who brakes suddenly in front of them.

Following these 6 tips for helping Florida drivers avoid rear-end accidents can decrease your own liability and increase the settlement you stand to recover!

Tips to help Florida drivers avoid rear-ending someone else:

  1. Upgrade to a vehicle with technologically advanced safety features
  2. The National Transportation Safety Board collected data that led them to state that collision avoidance systems could prevent up to 80% of rear-end accident fatalities. Advanced front-crash prevention features, like object detection and automatic braking, can reduce your chances of getting too close to another vehicle and rear-ending them, regardless of whether you are at fault or they are. Many vehicles today are already equipped with this technology, but if you have an older vehicle, or if you are car shopping, consider getting a vehicle with automatic braking built in.

  3. Follow the speed limit/drive at a safe distance
  4. The faster you are driving and the closer you are to other vehicles, the less time you will have to react and stop if another vehicle darts in your lane or brakes suddenly in front of you. Conditions on the road can change at any moment; it is important to always maintain control over your vehicle, which means obeying the posted speed limits, keeping 3 seconds between you and the car in front of you, avoiding tailgating, and generally exercising wisdom when it comes to how you operate your vehicle.

    The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) uses this fascinating (and sobering) hypothetical accident scenario to encourage drivers to follow the speed limit and keep a safe stopping distance: “A typical reaction time to perceive a threat {such as a braking vehicle or vehicle coming into your lane} is about ¾ second, and then you add another ¾ second to decide to act and move your foot to the brake pedal – that’s 1.5 seconds so far. At 55mph, the distance traveled is 121 feet. Only then does the car begin to slow. On dry pavement that takes 4 ½ seconds, traveling another 144 feet, but if it’s wet, you’ll travel 183 feet. You can do the math – it has taken about as long as a football field to stop your car at 55mph (265 and 303 feet), and that is assuming you were alert. At 30mph, it’s about half a football field.”

  5. Minimize distractions
  6. “Assuming you were alert” – if you aren’t alert, the distance you would travel in the above hypothetical scenario increases dramatically, as do your chances of being involved in a rear-end collision. If you are texting, checking your emails, scrolling through social, or doing anything else on your phone that requires you to take your eyes off of the road – or if you are changing the radio station, tending to children in the backseat, or eating – you are not giving your full attention to driving, and you will not be able to react as quickly to what is on the road in front of you. Florida just recently passed a law cracking down on distracted driving and making it a primary offense, but because it is a relatively new and unenforced measure, Florida is one of the worst states for texting and driving. Don’t contribute to the number of rear-end accidents because you were doing something totally preventable! Stay off your phone and minimize distractions while driving.

Tips to help Florida drivers avoid being rear-ended:

  1. Drive predictably
  2. When you drive in a predictable manner, you are not as likely to get rear-ended. Use your turn signal, and don’t turn it on while you are turning or changing lanes; give other drivers the time to see it. Don’t weave between lanes or vehicles. Brake gradually at a stoplight or sign; don’t slam on your brakes and expect the driver behind you to have enough time to stop (the NHTSA example shows that they won’t). Avoid speeding up when there is a yellow light ahead of you.

  3. Scan your surroundings frequently
  4. Check your rearview and side view mirrors frequently to make sure that you know where cars and other objects are in relation to your vehicle. If you are aware of your surroundings, you are more likely to be able to avoid someone rear-ending you; you can change lanes safely if you see a speeding car approaching from behind, for example.

  5. Perform regular vehicle maintenance
  6. If your brake lights are out, or even if one of them is damaged, or if your turn signals aren’t working properly, vehicles behind you won’t be able to judge/predict your actions clearly (particularly at night). It’s important to take the time to inspect and clean your vehicle on a regular basis, and resolve any issues before taking to the road.