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Be mindful of your surroundings and prevent rear-end car crashes

It happens something like this: You're on your way to work at around 6:30 a.m. The sun isn't quite up, and the morning fog has yet to burn away, so visibility isn't perfect. You get a text from your husband, and you think it's safe to quickly respond, but when you look up from your phone you're surprised by a red light.

You stop a little too quickly for comfort and see another driver speeding toward you from behind. There's no way he's going to stop in time and, "smash," he hits you.

Are you at fault for looking at your phone? Or is the driver who hit you from behind at fault? Perhaps both of you are to some degree. Could you have avoided this crash? The answer is, "most likely."

How to avoid rear-end accidents

The National Highway Transportation Safety Administration reports that 29 percent of car accidents are rear-end crashes. The NHTSA also states that most drivers who get into rear-end crashes were distracted somehow. Sixty-four percent weren't paying attention to the road.

In a lot of cases, the frontward driver has nothing to do with the crash. It might happen because the rearward driver was distracted by his or her cellphone, food, or some other distractor. However, frontward drivers can also do their part to avoid causing a rearward crash.

By paying attention to the cars around you, and watching your surroundings closely, you can give rearward drivers more space and more time to react in case you have to suddenly change your speed or take evasive action.

Also, be sure to keep your cellphone out of reach while you're driving. This will help prevent you from hitting another driver from behind, and it will prevent you from needing take swift action that could surprise the drivers who are behind you.

Pursue a personal injury claim following a rear-end crash

In the vast majority of cases, the rearward driver will be at fault for causing a rear-end crash. If you suffered an injury in a collision like this, and you were the frontward driver, you might be able to seek financial compensation for your damages in court by filing a personal injury claim.

Source: Nov. 30, -0001

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