Rear-end collisions are responsible for a major share of all accident claims, and aggressive driving – particularly tailgating – makes some fleet drivers at a higher risk for such crashes. Here’s some advice, provided by the New York Department of Motor Vehicles, on how to avoid a rear-end crash. You may want to pass this list along to fleet drivers as a friendly reminder.
- Leave enough room between your vehicle and the one ahead so you can stop safely if the other vehicle stops suddenly.
- Brake early and gently when you prepare to stop or turn. It gives drivers behind you plenty of warning that you plan to decrease your speed.
- For a good “space cushion,” use the two-second rule: Select an object near or above the road ahead like a sign, tree or overpass. As the vehicle ahead passes it, count slowly, “one thousand one, one thousand two.” If you reach the same object before you finish the count, you are following too closely. In bad weather and when following large trucks, increase the count to at least three or four seconds for additional space.
- If a driver follows you too closely (tailgates), move to another lane if possible or reduce your speed and pull off the road to let the driver go by you. Make sure to signal when you drive off the road and when you return to it. Do not press your brakes to warn the driver behind you -- this could make a difficult condition become even more dangerous.
- In case you must change lanes quickly or pull over to avoid a hazard, leave some “escape” room to your left and right.
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