Ontivity Resources

REAR-END COLLISION AVOIDANCE

New Braunfels, TX, December 20, 2023

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According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), rear-end collisions account for approximately 24percent of all motor vehicle crashes, resulting in approximately 2,200 deaths and 970,000 injuries in 2022.  No company is immune to these statistics. This comes at a significant cost including injuries and downtime due to vehicle damage. 

We will go over just a few of the many ways to avoid being involved in a rear-end collision.

  • MAINTAIN A SAFE FOLLOWING DISTANCE.
  • BE AWARE OF YOUR SURROUNDINGS.
  • BE PREDICTABLE.

MAINTAIN A SAFE FOLLOWING DISTANCE.

It should go without saying that following another car too closely will increase the likelihood of hitting that car from behind in the event of a sudden stop. Tailgating creates some of the most dangerous situations on the road. Some drivers forget the laws of the road—and the law of physics—and put themselves and every driver around them in danger by driving close to other vehicles. A best practice is to utilize the 3-second rule to maintain a safe distance.  Calculating this rule is simple but keep in mind The three-second rule is recommended for passenger vehicles during ideal road and weather conditions. You calculate your following distance by picking a stationary point ahead of you and then count “one-thousand-one, one-thousand- two, one-thousand-three.” If you find that you’ve passed the marker point before you finish counting the three seconds, you are following the other vehicle too closely.  When traveling at higher speeds, increase the distance to allow at least five seconds.   Conditions like pulling a trailer or driving in adverse conditions could require you to increase your following distance to greater durations.  All our company vehicles are outfitted with a Motive system to assist us in developing good driving habits.  The Motive system will generate an alert if the following distance between you and the vehicle in front of you is .7 seconds or less; to impact and is maintained for at least 15 seconds above 35 miles per hour.  Keeping a safe distance between you and the person in front of you will help eliminate a collision.

BE AWARE OF YOUR SURROUNDINGS. 

Rear-end accidents are most common in areas such as intersections, highways, exit ramps, and highly congested roadways. Scanning the road ahead of you is essential, but you should also be alert to road conditions at your sides and behind you.  Get into the habit of checking your mirrors frequently as you drive.  Always look in your mirrors before you reduce your speed, including when you’re preparing to make a turn onto a side road or driveway.  By looking at your rear-view and side mirrors, you are often able to see if the driver behind you is paying attention.  When behind a trailer or any vehicle towing a heavy load, increase your following distance as much as possible. The extra weight of these vehicles and the loads they carry can make it more difficult for them to stop. This also applies whenever you are following a large vehicle that blocks your view ahead, so you’ll have more space to see around it. Remember as a driver, we must always be looking for a way out.

BE PREDICTABLE. 

Driving is safest when the road traffic is predictable. No one likes hitting their brakes or violently swerving because another driver surprised them. Sometimes the surprised driver is left with no options and the result is a serious accident. By driving predictably, you make the road a safer place for yourself and others. One way to be predictable is to Use Your Turn Signals. Signal well in advance of lane changes or turns. You should also Avoid Rapid Changes.  Make your lane changes gradual while using your turn signal. If you find that you’re too close to your exit or turn to complete the maneuver safely, take the next exit or street rather than making a hard turn while slamming your brakes. Lastly, Drive at a Steady Speed and Direction. By minimizing changes in speed and direction, you minimize the risk of surprising another driver. Your risk of getting into an accident is also reduced. Constant lane switching to get into the fastest lane exposes you to greater risk. It is also futile because research shows that lane switching doesn’t get you to your destination faster.  I will leave you with one final statistic. 90% of rear-end collisions could be avoided with just one extra second of warning time.  Do you have a second to spare?

If you would like more information on this topic or any other safety-related topic, please reach out to the Ontivity safety team at safety@ontivity.com, and we will get you taken care of. 

1820 Watson Lane East, New Braunfels, Texas 78130, United States

(830) 302-2330

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