In many rear-end accidents, the front driver has no idea what is happening until it happens. They never see the car behind them. They could be stopped at a light, for instance, watching to see when it turns green. Then they hear the screech of brakes and feel the impact.
But what if you do see the other car coming? Say you look at your rear-view mirror while you’re waiting at that light, and it’s clear that the driver behind you is not going to stop in time. What should you do?
Plan for rear-end collisions by giving yourself space to escape
There are really only a few things you can do, and you should start by leaving yourself extra space. If there is another car ahead of you, don’t pull up to within a few feet of the back bumper. Leave the length of a car or more between your vehicles.
Next, find an escape route that you can use if needed. You may not have one, unfortunately, if there is traffic all around you. Never drive into the oncoming lanes. But you may have a simple escape route if there’s a shoulder or emergency breakdown lane next to your car.
If you know where to go and you have the space to do it, you may be able to instinctively pull your car out of the way as soon as you identify the oncoming hazard.
If you get hit by a driver from the rear
Clearly, this does not prevent all accidents. Getting hit from behind is almost never your fault, so make sure you know how to seek the financial compensation you are due for your injuries and losses.