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Rear-end accidents: How do they happen?


From the basic rules of the road to defensive driving and parallel parking, you are taught a lot in driving school. However, driver education rarely covers aspects like how to avoid rare-end collisions. Basically, this is something you learn over time as you hone your driving skills. 

According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), rare-end collisions account for nearly 30 percent of all car wrecks. Given their frequency, it helps to understand how these accidents happen and what you can do to avoid them. 

Several factors contribute to rear-end car wrecks. Here are the most common:

1. Distractions

Phone use, eating or drinking, checking the GPS device or grooming while driving – all these are distractive activities that can take the driver’s attention and focus off the road leading to a rear-end collision. 

2. Tailgating

This is one of the leading causes of rear-end collisions. When another motorist is driving too close to you, they might have a difficult time responding to an emergency situation. 

3. Mechanical issues

A car that has mechanical problems, like braking, tail light or brake light issues is a safety risk to all road users. The risk of a rear-end collision is usually greater when the car’s brakes and lights aren’t working as they should. 

You can protect yourself by not permitting yourself to drive while distracted, moving over to let tailgating drivers pass and keeping your car in good repair. Unfortunately, you cannot make other drivers do better – and that means you can still end up in a wreck. 

A rear-end accident can ruin your day or, worse still, the rest of your life. Find out how you can safeguard your rights and interests when pursuing damages following a rare-end collision that was not your fault. 

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