Rear-end collisions are nothing new. They happen to people all the time. Many of the people who end up in these crashes had no idea they were about to happen.
The sad thing about rear-end collisions is that many are completely avoidable. The National Highway Transportation Safety Administration reported that around 29 percent of all crashes are rear-end collisions. Preventing just a few could change lives.
So, why do these crashes happen? Here are three of the top reasons that people end up in rear-end collisions.
1. Texting and driving
Texting and driving is one of the most common causes of rear-end collisions. When a driver isn't looking up at the road ahead, it's no surprise that he or she doesn't see stopped traffic. If the driver doesn't look up in time, he or she may not be able to stop to prevent a crash.
2. Changing radio stations
Another thing that people do often in vehicles is change the radio stations. Most new vehicles have controls to do this on the steering wheel, and some vehicles even have voice activation. Not all vehicles do, though, so there are drivers who may look away to try to decide what kind of music or radio station they want to listen to. Drivers who do this while they're driving are distracting themselves from what's happening in front of them. They're putting themselves and others at risk. Taking a hand off the wheel leaves you less able to control the car or truck, and looking away for even a few seconds puts you at risk of causing a rear-end collision.
Finally, remember that getting enough sleep is the key to driving safely. Drivers who get behind the wheel without enough sleep are more likely to cause accidents. It's believed that as many as 1 out of 25 adults aged 18 and above drive while tired and have fallen asleep at least once in the last 30 days. In fact, the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration believes that driving while drowsy led to up to 72,000 collisions in 2013 alone.
Drivers who don't get enough sleep may include commercial drivers, shift workers and drivers with untreated sleep disorders. It's important for every driver to get as much good sleep as possible before getting behind the wheel.
Overall, anything that takes your attention off the road has the potential to cause a crash. If you're not looking at the road in front of you, you're more likely to hit another vehicle. Staying safe starts with you. Take your time and get educated before you get behind the wheel.