Negligent Driving Habits that can cause rear-end collisions
Rear-end collisions are quite common in the US, including the state of Pennsylvania. According to the Pennsylvania Department of Transportation (PennDOT):
- Rear-end collisions account for nearly 22 percent of all car accidents in PA.
- In 2014, more than 1/5 of all Pennsylvania accidents involved rear-end accidents that caused almost 80 fatalities while in 2015, rear-end accidents totaled 29,511 crashes.
- Although rear-end collisions may seem less severe than head-on collisions, it can expose the driver in the front to serious injuries, such as whiplash, neck injuries and paralysis and even fatalities, especially if the accident involves a semi truck or a tractor-trailer.
All these statistics show that rear-end collisions are a frequent occurrence in Pennsylvania. A rear-end collision occurs when one vehicle’s front end hits the back end of another vehicle.
Let us now take a look at the most common negligent driving habits that can lead to rear-end collisions in PA.
Negligent Driving Habits That Cause Rear-End Collisions in PA
• Distracted Driving
One of the top causes of rear-end collisions in PA is distracted driving. This happens when the motorist driving behind the front vehicle gets distracted and loses focus from the road. Distractions may include:
- Answering a phone call
- Reading of replying to a text message
- Eating while driving
- Adjusting the GPS or the radio
As the driver’s eyes and mind are not fully focused on the road, they may not realize that the motorist in front of them has stopped or slowed down, thus resulting in a rear-end collision.
When driving, it is important to maintain a safe distance between vehicles. However, some drivers don’t follow the traffic rules and violate them by tailgating. Tailgating is an aggressive driving practice where the driver behind the front vehicle drives too close and does not leave sufficient distance to stop in case the other driver pulls the brakes and stops unexpectedly. Studies show that approximately 1/3 of rear-end collisions occur because of tailgating. This negligent driving habit can put the lives of innocent people at risk causing serious injuries and fatalities.
Speeding is another reason for rear-end collisions in PA. It is important for vehicle drivers to understand that when speeding, you need more time to stop and slow down. This is a dangerous driving practice, especially when passing through a school zone or a residential neighborhood. Roads all over the world have speed limits, which are set taking into consideration the conditions of the roads, the number of carriageways and whether or not a driver is driving through an area where there are likely to be a lot of pedestrians.
Driving over the speed limit is not only dangerous for the car driver, but also for passengers riding with them, pedestrians and other motorists sharing the road with them.
• Driving Under the Influence of Drugs or Alcohol
According to the NHTSA (National Highway Traffic and Safety Administration), 29 percent of the fatalities that occur because of auto accidents involve drunk driving. In 2016, there were nearly 297 traffic fatalities in Pennsylvania due to drunk driving. In addition to this, drugs other than alcohol are also involved in 16 percent of rear-end collisions.
Alcohol and drugs impair one’s judgment and perception. They also reduce coordination and increase reaction time, thus making it one of the most dangerous driving habits.
• Drowsy Driving
Drowsy driving is also one of the main reasons for rear-end collisions. This is because a drowsy driver is not always alert, thus they may not realize that the car in front has slowed down or stopped. Even if the driver falls asleep for a few seconds, a rear-end collision can occur.
• Road Rage
Road rage is also on the rise. This driving habit is extremely dangerous and should be avoided. Sometimes, it only takes the form of yelling an expletive at the offending driver or just making a rude gesture, but this can be dangerous as your attention is distracted from the road to another user. However, in some situations, the aggrieved party may drive aggressively in order to catch up with the motorist who offended them. This negligent driving act can put all other road users at risk.
Pennsylvania Financial Responsibility Act
According to PA Financial Responsibility Act, the driver of a vehicle should not follow too closely another vehicle than what is reasonable and prudent. They should have due regard for the speed of the vehicles, the traffic and the condition of the highway.
The victim of a rear-end collision has the right to file a claim. Compensation for rear-end collisions fall into two categories: economic and non-economic damages. However, in order to get compensated, you must prove the fault of the negligent driver. This is where an experienced auto accident lawyer in Pennsylvania can help.
An experienced auto accident lawyer in Pennsylvania has a substantial amount of knowledge concerning the Financial Responsibility Law and insurance availability in PA. They can help you navigate the complex legal system, collect evidence to prove the defendant guilty and help you get a fair and full compensation amount for your losses and injuries arising from the rear-end collision.
So, if you have been injured severely in a rear end collision, make sure to contact our auto accident lawyer in Pennsylvania. We can evaluate your case and provide you with the best course of legal action. We’ll fight your case aggressively and ensure that you get compensated rightfully.