What Florida Drivers can do to Avoid Rear End Accidents

kevin-lee-102433-copy-200x300Rear end car accidents are among the most common types of collisions in Florida and throughout the U.S. According to data compiled by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, these types of incidents account for 29% of all crashes. As you might expect, the majority – 88% – of these accidents involve the rear vehicle colliding into a vehicle in front of it, rather than the lead vehicle backing into the vehicle behind it. Rear end collisions are usually the result of driver carelessness, inattention, or other preventable misconduct. 

Under the circumstances, it can be almost impossible to avoid a rear end crash if you are driving or riding in the lead vehicle. Fortunately, you do have rights if you were injured, and a Miami car accident attorney can assist you with the legal process. However, you might benefit from knowing the reasons rear end collisions occur and a few tips on avoiding them when you can.

Causes of Rear End Accidents

At one time, many rear end crashes were the result of driver inattention. That is still true today, but there is a specific form of inattention that is an enormous threat for Miami drivers — distracted driving. Talking, texting, posting to social media, and other cell phone usage makes motorists twice as likely to run into the back of the vehicle ahead of them. In addition, other causes of rear end collisions include:

  • Following too closely, i.e., tailgating;
  • Not taking proper precautions in poor weather;
  • Excessive speed; and,
  • Driving under the influence of drugs or alcohol.

Tips on How to Avoid Rear End Accidents

Many times, it is not possible to avoid being run into when you are the lead vehicle because you are not the one who is driving negligently. When you are in heavy traffic or stopped at a signal, you are not able to swerve out of the way. Still, there are some tips you can use to reduce the threat of rear end crashes:

  • If you need to stop abruptly, but still have time, check your rearview mirror to observe the vehicle behind you. As you slow, activate your hazard lights as a warning. Note that you should deactivate them right away, since it is unlawful in Florida to drive with hazards on.
  • When a tailgater is creating a risk of a rear end accident, slow down or pull over and let the vehicle pass.
  • Do not engage a motorist who is tailgating. Road rage incidents are on the rise and you could provoke an agitated driver unnecessarily.
  • Of course, to avoid rear end collisions do not be the tailgater. Allow plenty of space between vehicles, adjusting for a greater distance at higher speeds.

Contact a Miami Car Accidents Lawyer for Legal Help

If you were hurt in a rear end crash or any other collision resulting from another driver’s negligence, please contact the offices of Gerson & Schwartz, PA in Miami, Fort Lauderdale, or West Palm Beach, FL. We can set up a free consultation to learn your story and evaluate your legal options. We are also prepared to handle the insurance claims process and take your case to court if necessary to protect your rights.