Most drivers aren’t looking to get in a collision - they can be painful to your wallet, your property, and to any people who are involved. Unfortunately, the most common kinds of collisions are those when traffic is moving slowly, or not at all. These low speed, low impact accidents are called fender benders.
So, what causes fender benders, and how can we prevent them?
Rear End Collisions
Rear end collisions can happen anywhere, all they require is for one car to hit another from behind. They’re the most common kind of collision that happens in the United States, and they don’t have to happen at high speed to cause damage.
The best way to avoid a rear end collision is to pay attention! If your car is working properly, (make sure your brakes, brake lights, and headlights are working well!) avoiding a rear end collision is usually a matter of leaving enough space between you and the vehicle in front of you, and braking early enough.
Parking Lot Collisions
Parking lot collisions are similar to rear end collisions - they occur when vehicles are too close, and generally occur at low speeds. In a parking lot, one car may be parked during an accident!
Again, if your vehicle is functioning properly, the best way to avoid a collision is to pay attention. Parking lots may not have posted speeds, but generally 15 miles per hour is the fastest one should drive in a parking lot. The more vehicles, especially driving vehicles, and the more people are in a parking lot, the slower your speed should be. Make sure to go easy on the gas pedal, and pay attention to your surroundings in all directions.
Tips for Paying Attention While Driving
Paying attention is one of the first things they’ll teach you in driver’s education. To make sure you’re at your best, follow these tips.
Drive Sober - Driving under the influence of drugs or alcohol will likely impair your reaction time and your depth perception, meaning you’ll notice things later, react later, and misjudge their distance from you. This rule applies to both prescribed and recreational drugs!
Stay off the Phone - Cell phones are one of the main causes of accidents today! Driving slowly is not an excuse to split your attention between driving and using an electronic device, whether it’s built into your car or one you bring with you.
Use your Mirrors - Your mirrors are there to help you see what’s around you, so make sure to use them!