You’ve probably heard that rear-end accidents are always the tailing driver’s fault.
There is some truth to that. The rear-most driver is responsible for maintaining a safe following distance and is in a better position to prevent a rear-end collision than anyone else.
For that reason, the tailing driver is usually assigned legal fault in rear-end accident cases (though there are situations where the driver who gets rear-ended is found to be at fault).
Even if a court wouldn’t likely assign you fault, no one wants to get rear-ended. Even if the tailing driver has the lion’s share of the responsibility for avoiding the crash, there are still steps you can take to avoid getting rear-ended.
As Columbus auto accident lawyers, we have seen too many people injured in rear-end accidents that could have been prevented. In fact, a rear-end collision is the single most common type of traffic accident in Ohio.
While there are certainly things the tailing drivers can do to minimize the risk of harm, in today’s article, we’re talking to you: the driver in front.
9 Ways to Avoid Being Rear-Ended in a Car Accident
Here are nine tips to avoid being rear-ended in a car accident in Ohio. Take them to heart and start modifying the way you drive today. It could save your life.
Predict the Future
As you’re driving, try to actively anticipate the need to brake. Pay attention to the cars and traffic lights ahead. Think the vehicles in front of you are likely to tap their brakes soon? Go ahead and apply yours now. This tells the drivers behind you to start slowing too… remember, they can’t always see what you see!
Approach Red Lights and Stop Signs Slowly
If you slam on your brakes at a red light or stop sign, the people behind you might not react in time. There’s no reason to rush toward a stop… you’ll be reaching 0 mph either way. Instead, start slowing while far away from the light, sign, or intersection. Apply your brakes gently and come to a gradual halt.
Never Skip a Signal
Good communication isn’t just for workplaces and relationships… it matters on the highway too. Use turn signals (“blinkers”) early, giving the driver behind you plenty of time to understand your next move.
Make Sure Your Lights Work
Your headlights, brake lights, or turn signals could be broken without you realizing it. That’s why it’s important to check each light frequently (and to take your vehicle in for regular maintenance).
Avoid Getting “Boxed In” Whenever Possible
If there’s a sudden obstruction in the road ahead of you, you can either maneuver around it or slam on your brakes. The latter is more likely to get you rear-ended. Maneuvering, then, is the better choice (provided you use proper signaling technique). But if there are cars on either side of you, where can you go?
Try to keep this in mind while you drive. Avoid traveling directly beside other cars when you can. Likewise, try not to drive in another vehicle’s blind spot (and vice versa).
Look for Escape Routes
It’s like a scene in a horror movie: you’re stopped at a red light, you glance in the rear-view mirror, and a truck is barreling down on you at full speed with no signs of stopping. Where do you go?
In addition to avoiding “boxed-in” scenarios, you should always identify a potential means of escape when approaching any stop sign, traffic light, or traffic-slowing event.
If you had to get out of the way of a driver who isn’t paying attention, could you? Shoulders, medians, center turning lanes, and adjacent lanes of traffic might all be options. Always use your best judgment in the moment.
Check Those Mirrors
You can’t avoid what you don’t see coming. Experts recommend that you check each mirror every eight seconds while slowing or approaching a stop.
Don’t Try to Teach Your Tailgater a Lesson
The infamous “brake check” might make for great TV comedy, but it’s asking for trouble on the road. Not only are you likely to end up in a rear-end collision but you also run the risk of inciting dangerous road rage.
Instead, increase your following distance from any traffic ahead of you, keep calm, and try to “lose” the tailgater by either changing lanes or letting them pass.
Predictability might be boring in your social life, but it’s a lifesaver on the road. Above all else, try to make your driving completely and utterly predictable to all the other cars on the road. If you can predict them and they can predict you, you’re much more likely to avoid being rear-ended in a car accident.
Injured in a Rear-End Car Accident in Ohio? Contact Colombo Law.
The Columbus auto accident lawyers at Colombo Law are proud to serve auto accident victims all across the great state of Ohio, not only in Columbus but also in Chillicothe, Circleville, Heath, Hebron, Lancaster, New Lexington, Newark, Pataskala, Westerville, and beyond.
To get started, call 888-860-1414 (614-362-7000 in Columbus) or simply contact us online.