Rear-end collisions happen every day. Drivers may not be focused on the road ahead of them, could fall asleep behind the wheel, might look away at an outside distraction or may be focused on texts. No matter what they were doing, failing to focus can easily lead to a rear-end crash.
A rear-end collision is not impossible to avoid. While you can’t control the actions of other drivers, you can look for signs that they’re not being safe so that you can get out of the way.
1. Look for texting
The first thing you might notice when you’re driving alongside someone or when they’re behind you is that they’re looking away from the road. Check your rearview mirror. If the other driver isn’t looking up, they’re not going to see what you’re doing.
To avoid a crash, slow down over a longer period of time than normal. If they aren’t looking up, move to another lane or to the shoulder before making a turn, because it’s better to be safe than to have them hit you without ever looking up.
2. Notice jerky movements
Another thing to do is to look for jerky or uneven movements. A driver who isn’t paying attention may look up every few seconds to adjust the positioning of the vehicle. If you notice a vehicle moving in and out of the lane suddenly or jerking from side-to-side, call the police and do your best to stay out of the way.
3. Don’t brake check others
Finally, if you want to avoid a rear-end crash, give yourself enough time to stop. Brake checking others, which is when you suddenly brake to make sure they’re paying attention, is hazardous and may result in a crash. You and the other driver both have a responsibility to stay safe on the road and to avoid causing collisions. If you think they’re not paying attention, pull over or get out of the way instead of attempting to prove a point.
These are a few tips to help you avoid a rear-end collision. Overall, if you give yourself plenty of time to stop and notice when other drivers aren’t paying attention to the road, you can greatly reduce your risk of being involved in a traffic accident or rear-end crash.