Rear End Collisions—How to Avoid Hitting Another Vehicle

Perhaps the most preventable and inexcusable accident is caused by backing into a parked auto or a fixed object. You should never commit this type of error as a professional driver.

To keep from hitting someone in the rear:

  • Begin braking early—for reserve braking power as you near final stopping point.
  • Pay strict attention—Don’t daydream or look away from the road for more than one second. Keep in mind that a vehicle can move a considerable distance in one second. For example, at 40 mph, a vehicle travels 60 feet in one second.
  • Use good vision habits—Don’t crowd up so close that you can’t see ahead. Look through rear window area of vehicle ahead to see the road ahead. Look over the top of car ahead when on hills.
  • Look for things that could cause the driver ahead to stop—The other driver’s problems become your problems only a second or two later.
  • On icy roads, look for a swerve path to the right—Many times on ice you can steer around a vehicle that you could not stop for. Avoid swerving to the left—you’re inviting a head-on. Better yet, you won’t need a swerve path at all if you increase your following distance to allow for road conditions and weather.
  • Be patient—The hurry habit is the beginning of many a rear end mash-up. Stay Alert For Danger Signals Some signals to watch for:
  • Brake lights on the vehicle ahead— Get your foot off the gas pedal and to the brake pressure point quickly.
  • Diminishing distance between your vehicle and the vehicle ahead— You’re in a collision course. The vehicle on the road ahead is slowing down or it may be standing. Relate vehicles ahead to fixed objects out to the side.
  • Problems in adjacent lanes— Stay alert for brake lights and slow downs in adjacent lanes. Expect quick swerves into your lane by other drivers.

The recommendation(s), advice and contents of this material are provided for informational purposes only and do not purport to address every possible legal obligation, hazard, code violation, loss potential or exception to good practice. The Hanover Insurance Company and its affiliates and subsidiaries (“The Hanover”) specifically disclaim any warranty or representation that acceptance of  any recommendations or advice  contained herein will make any premises, property or operation safe or in compliance with any law or regulation. Under no circumstances should this material or your acceptance of any recommendations or advice contained herein be construed as establishing the existence or availability of any insurance coverage with The Hanover. By providing this information to you, The Hanover does not assume (and specifically disclaims) any duty, undertaking or responsibility to you. The decision to accept or implement any recommendation(s) or advice contained in this material must be made by you.
LC 11-389