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Should you expect to be involved in a rear-end collision?

You may have experienced a rear-end collision at some point in your life. If not, should you expect this kind of accident to happen to you?

Millions of people across the U.S. find themselves in rear-end collisions every year. If you drive in the New York City area, you probably know that they are a common occurrence here.

Why rear-end collisions happen

Usually, a distracted driver is responsible for a rear-end collision, especially in a bustling city like New York where myriad things to see take the driver’s attention away from operating his or her vehicle safely. The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration reports that in 2015, about 391,000 people sustained injuries and 3,477 people died across the country in crashes that involved distracted drivers. Of course, another obvious cause for a rear-end collision is that the trailing driver follows the car ahead too closely and if that car stops suddenly, the trailing vehicle may have no choice but to run into it.

New York statistics

The City of New York Police Department issues monthly motor vehicle collision report statistics. The report for May 2019 shows a total of 19,334 motor vehicle collisions with 2,533 driver injuries and 1,739 passenger injuries. There were six fatalities. The report lists dozens of contributing factors for these accidents, but one line item, “following too closely,” was responsible for 2,168 collisions, probably of the rear-end variety.

New technology to the rescue

In 2014, the NHTSA announced that rear-view cameras would be required on all new cars and pickups. These cameras have proven effective in reducing the number of rear, side and front collisions. Another safety feature currently available on new vehicles is the automatic emergency braking system. This system sounds an alarm when a driver comes too close to the car ahead. If the driver is too slow to react, the system will apply the brakes automatically, thereby preventing a potentially dangerous situation.

Dealing with injuries

You should not get behind the wheel of your car every day thinking that you could be on your way to a traffic accident. However, you should keep in mind that accidents do happen, along with sometimes devastating injuries. As a driver in the Big Apple, you must always stay alert and drive defensively. 

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