Some causes of a rear-end accidents are:
- Following too close
- Road conditions
- Bright sun
- Distracted Driving
- Hot Dogging
- Just not using common sense
- Deciding to drive unsafely
- Lack of experience
- Not looking ahead
- Not being prepared for what
COULD happen ahead of you
As a professional driver there is virtually no reason you should ever be involved in a rear-end accident. It is not like the vehicles in front of you just fell out of the sky and – whoa – now what.
The number one reason attributed to rear-end accidents is following too close. The general rule for tractor trailer following distance is one second for every ten feet of vehicle length – that means you should be about seven seconds behind the vehicle in front of you. In bad weather this becomes even more crucial and the following distance may have to be more. On slick ice or snow covered roads you will not be able to come to a stop in the same distance that you could on dry roads under good conditions.
And yes, everyone knows what happens when you leave the desired amount of following space, cars jump into that space as they hurtle up the road around you with nearly reckless abandon. But that is where being a professional driver comes in, you have to make adjustments and be ready for that to happen. Because you already know it is going to happen! Does that mean you eventually end up going in reverse? No, you just have to watch, and be ready to adjust your road position.
And speaking of watching, you MUST scan the road further ahead of you than just what is right in front of you. Look for brake lights coming on, look for traffic slowing down, notice if the amount of vehicles in your sight line is increasing, and be aware of changing weather/road conditions ahead of you. By seeing what is going on ahead of you, preventing a rear-end accident becomes more possible.
You must also adapt your speed to take in account traffic flow and weather conditions. If you combine the factors of following too close, speeding, and then throw in poor road conditions, you are according to the old saying, “an accident looking for a place to happen”.
When you bobtail that brings in an entirely different set of factors. Without a trailer the braking changes dramatically. You must make the adjustments necessary when bobtailing.
Never, ever go reaching for something in the cab. It only takes a millisecond for things to change in front of you. You reach down for something, look back up, the car in front of you has slammed on its brakes and there is nothing you can do. You rear-end that vehicle.
The list above and maybe a few other things not listed can lead to rear-end accidents. Do all you can and make all the safe decisions you can as a professional driver to avoid rear-end accidents