Rear-end collisions are one of the most common types of accidents to occur on Tennessee roads. A seemingly minor crash can result in major injuries and extensive vehicle damage. Many of these accidents are caused by human errors and therefore may be preventable.

One of the leading causes of rear-end collisions is distracted driving. An earlier post summarizes the laws that govern distracted driving accidents in Tennessee. The simplest and most effective way for drivers to prevent rear-end collisions is to avoid distractions and simply pay better attention to the road and their surroundings.

Another easy way for people to reduce their chances of being involved in a rear-end collision is to make sure they leave ample space between their car and the car in front of them. According to, a good rule of thumb is to keep one car length behind for every 10 miles per hour the car is traveling so that there will be enough space to stop if the car in front brakes suddenly.

While having more attentive drivers on the road can make a big difference, car makers are also doing their part to reduce rear-end collisions. The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration recently recommended that automatic emergency braking be a standard feature on all new vehicles, beginning with the model year 2018. Sensors and cameras on the vehicle would anticipate if a rear-end crash is imminent and automatically brake to avoid impact. While there is no substitution for focused and attentive driving, this type of crash-avoidance technology can save lives and drastically reduce the number of injuries caused by rear-end collisions each year.


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