A 62-year-old California motorist was killed recently when his 1998 Toyota Corolla was rear-ended by a pickup truck driven by a 43-year-old motorist. Press Enterprise reports the 62-year-old motorist who was rear-ended died at the scene of the accident.
It is not uncommon for people to die or to sustain serious injuries because of rear-end accidents. Victims or their families should be compensated if they can prove the other driver caused the rear-end collision. For victims, understanding why a crash happened can make all the difference in terms of being compensated. However, all motorists should know the top causes of rear-end crashes so they can avoid engaging in high risk behavior.
How Rear-End Collisions Happen
Rear-end accidents usually happen when one car doesn't respect the space of another car. Drivers shouldn't follow right behind a car in front of them; in fact, to do so is called tailgating. Drivers need to leave room to stop or to slow down in response to an action taken by the car in front of their own. Typically, a three to four second following distance is enough time for a driver to react and a car to stop. However, if conditions on the road are bad, a longer following distance should be maintained. Slippery roads or bad visibility are examples of times when a longer distance may be needed to stop.
Another common reason for rear-end accidents is when a driver is not paying attention. When a driver fails to focus on what is going on around him and what is going on with the car in front of him, the motorist may not notice when the front car stops or when the front car slows down. The rear driver could hit the front vehicle if he doesn't react quickly enough to respond if the front driver changes behaviors. Cell phones are a common source of distraction which causes a motorist not to pay proper attention to what is going on in front of him. Motorists can be distracted not only by a handheld cell phone but also if they are using voice-controlled hands-free devices. In fact, these devices can be even more dangerous because they take longer to use and because they cause drivers to experience inattention blindness due to the cognitive distraction.
Finally, a third cause of rear-end accidents is drivers speeding. Speeding could be defined as going too fast for conditions on the road at the current time, or as going over the posted speed limit. Speeding can increase rear-end accident risks because the driver who is going too fast has a longer stopping distance on his vehicle. Faster moving cars have more momentum, which is why they take longer to stop. The longer stopping distance means the car is more likely to strike the vehicle in front of his own.