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Avoiding a rear-end collision

Rear-end collisions are the most frequent type of crash, according to Driving-Tests, a driver education platform. Officially collected data shows rear-end collisions made up about 29% of all the crashes in the U.S. in 2017.

There are many things drivers can do to reduce the likelihood of you ending up in a rear-end collision. According to Car Wise, two keys are to keep back a safe distance and to expect the unexpected.

Tips for keeping distance

A good rule to follow is the so-called “three-second rule.” Drivers should pay attention to when the car ahead passes an unmoving object, such as a telephone pole, and begin the count. If the driver’s vehicle passes the same telephone pole before those three seconds have passed, it is too close to the car ahead; the driver should slow down.

Additionally, drivers should adjust their driving to fit the conditions. On slippery roads or roads that have poor visibility, drivers should increase the distance between their vehicle and the one ahead by another second.

Other safety measures

Staying out of the blind spots of other drivers is key, as a sudden lane change may make it impossible to avoid striking a vehicle that is too close and cuts across lanes quickly.

Keeping an eye on mirrors to stay out of the way of tailgaters may help. It may be dangerous for drivers to slow down when a vehicle is following too closely, but if possible, they should change lanes to let the tailgater pass.

Stopping with a large space cushion between vehicles at stoplights and signs may keep a rear-end collision from turning into a chain of rear-end collisions.