SUVs and Cellphones Add to Higher Accident Costs
Accidents caused by tailgating are a perennial safety issue, one now aggravated by motorists abusing cellphones, and by the mismatched bumpers of small and large vehicles on the road, reported The Los Angeles Times on October 7.
Tailgating is the leading cause of rear-end collisions, according to the California Department of Motor Vehicles. The cost of repairing vehicles in these accidents has soared in recent years, and rear-end collisions can kill or cause significant injuries to victims. In California alone, 46,917 people were injured and 43 killed from 1999 through May 2004 in accidents in which tailgating was the primary causes of the collisions, according to California Highway Patrol data.
The dangers of tailgating are heightened by the differences in car and SUV bumpers, Miller says. The Insurance Institute for Highway Safety issued a report last month noting that despite federal requirements that car bumpers have to match up with those of other vehicles, "no such requirements apply to SUVs, and some of these vehicles don't have bumpers."