Dave Deslauriers /

Rear End Collisions: Why They Happen and How to Avoid Them

It happens so fast. You’re cruising along when something takes your attention away for just a split second. The next thing you know, you’re ramming into the rear end of the vehicle in front of you. You’ve just been involved in a rear end collision.  In this article, we’ll take a look at the causes behind these types of accidents and give you some tips that you can use to help avoid them in the future.

What Causes Rear End Collisions?

According to the National Highway Transportation Safety Administration (NHTSA), approximately 29% of all accidents can be classified as rear end collisions. Rear end accidents are most common in areas such as intersections, highways, exit ramps, and highly congested roadways.

The main causes of rear end collisions tend to be things such as distracted driving, following too closely, road rage, and fatigued or impaired driving. Put bluntly, operator error. It’s for this reason that insurers almost universally deem that the colliding party is the one at fault.

So what can we do to avoid these types of accidents?

Tips for Avoiding Rear End Collisions

To lessen the chances of being involved in a rear end collision, EDriving.com offers the following tips:

  1. Check your mirror frequently, as part of a wider “scanning” routine.
  2. Drive at a safe speed. The faster you drive the more likely you are to have to brake suddenly.
  3. Look well ahead. By looking ahead you can brake well in advance of a hazard and, in turn, provide the road user behind with more time to brake.
  4. Brake smoothly and steadily. This gives the road user behind more time to adjust their speed and come to a stop safely.
  5. Beware of tailgaters. All drivers should follow the three-second rule but we’ve all been the victim of another road user driving too closely behind. If you are being followed too closely you could try changing lanes. If not, pull over when it’s safe to do so and let the other road user pass. Don’t let anyone else bully you into speeding and never hit your brakes to teach another road user “a lesson”.
  6. Think tires and pavement. When coming to a stop behind another vehicle make sure you can see the other vehicle’s tires AND pavement behind.
  7. Use hazards/ blinkers to alert other drivers if necessary. For example, if traffic slows suddenly because of road works or an incident.
  8. Have your eyes checked regularly to make sure you can judge space effectively.
  9. Occasionally check to see if your rear tail-lights are all operating properly.


Following these procedures will help keep you and other drivers safe while out on the road. If you’d like to discuss ways to improve you company’s driver safety training, please don’t hesitate to reach out at (800) 243-0182 or info@motorlease.com


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