Of the various causes of accidents, rear-end crashes are some of the most common and dangerous. According to the FMCSA, 400,000 trucks are involved in motor vehicle crashes each year, and 18% involve rear-end crashes. Just one collision of this kind can jeopardize your drivers’ well-being and lead to severe injuries, or even death.
Rear-end crashes can occur for a variety of reasons, including poor driving conditions (e.g., low visibility, slippery roads or traffic congestion) and dangerous driving behavior (e.g., speeding, tailgating, or driving distracted or impaired). To protect your drivers and others on the road, it’s important to reinforce good driving habits. To prevent rear-end crashes, instruct employees to:
- Maintain proper following distances – To avoid rear-end collisions, it’s recommended that drivers maintain a minimum following distance of six seconds. To determine their following distance, drivers should observe the vehicle in front of them. Once that vehicle passes a stationary object, like a road sign, they should begin counting seconds until their vehicle reaches that same stationary object. While six seconds is a good minimum, drivers should create more distance between themselves and other drivers if road conditions are poor.
- Drive at appropriate speeds – Driving 2 mph to 3 mph below the posted speed limit can help drivers avoid rear-end crashes. This is because driving slightly slower than the flow of traffic allows them to keep their distance from other vehicles on the road. Drivers should adjust their speed if there are any hazards present, such as rainy or foggy weather.
- Avoid distractions – Any time a driver reaches for an object or gets distracted by outside stimuli, the chances of an accident drastically increase. In fact, studies show that simply by dialing a cellphone, the likelihood of a crash is six times greater.
- Anticipate hazards – One of the best ways to avoid rear-end collisions is to anticipate hazards. While maintaining a safe distance and avoiding distractions can help with this, drivers should also be instructed to:
- Look out for slowing traffic.
- Reduce their speed in road construction areas or when similar hazards are present.
- Know how to react to various road hazards and avoid slamming on their brakes whenever possible.
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Material posted on this website is for informational purposes only and does not constitute a legal opinion or medical advice. Contact your legal representative or medical professional for information specific to your legal or medical needs.