How to Prevent Rear-end Collisions, and What to Do — Just In Case!
A rear-end collision occurs when one automobile suddenly slows or stops, causing the next vehicle to crash into it from behind. A rear-end collision may also occur when an inattentive driver crashes into the car in front. You can avoid a rear-end collision by following a few simple tips:
Preventing a Rear-End Collision
In addition to scanning your mirrors, using your turn signals and not multi-tasking, there are several other things you can do to prevent a rear-end collision. For example, you can flash your brake lights to give the driver behind you fair warning of upcoming traffic changes. Likewise, you can increase the distance between you and the car you are following — or the car following you.
When the Unexpected Happens
After you rear-end another vehicle, or after you have been rear-ended by another vehicle, pull away from the flow of traffic. Then:
Check for injuries.
Call 911 if needed. Unexpected hits from behind can easily cause injury, the most common of which is whiplash. Depending on the effectiveness of safety belts and air bags, injuries to the face and head may also occur.
Survey the scene.
Note the date, time, weather and driving conditions. If there are independent witnesses (i.e., other than passengers), ask for their contact information; they'll need to confirm the location of the vehicles and the course of events.
When stepping out of your vehicle, note the other vehicle's license plate number immediately (snap a photo with your phone if you don't have a pen and paper handy.) Politely ask for the other driver's contact information. If the driver refuses to provide his or her contact information or attempts to leave the scene, their license plate number will help you track them down.
Call the police.
Call the police as soon as possible. Officers can file a formal report for claims purposes. As an official documentation of the course of events, the police report is integral to the claims process. Having one will make the accident easier to understand.
If you have a camera on your phone, use it to take pictures of the scene. Photos help explain what happened in the accident and the degree of damage. If you can, make a diagram to illustrate the course of events, too.
Go to the doctor.
If you believe you have sustained an injury in an accident, don't wait to go to the doctor. Find out sooner rather than later if you are injured.
Be aware of damage.
Both cars will sustain damage from the impact, but the smaller of the two will likely incur more of it. Take your vehicle to an auto repair shop for a more thorough inspection just to be sure there are no internal problems.
Give us a call.
Call to initiate a claim, or to notify us that someone will be filing a claim against you. Have your policy number on hand, and be ready to answer some basic questions about the accident. Call us regardless of how little damage you see.