Rear-end accidents are very common in the USA. More than 1 million rear-end crashes happen every year, and most of them end with injuries and often with fatalities.
If you were involved in such an accident and want to seek a compensation claim for your damages and injuries, seek help from a New Mexico car accident attorney.
Common Rear-End Crash Causes
You can be the most careful driver on the road and still end in an accident. You can’t control other drivers, and especially not the ones that drive behind you.
These are the most common reasons for accidents from the back:
- Tailgating – it happens when one car follows the one in the front too closely. There should always be a safe distance between two vehicles.
- DUI – this is another common cause for rear-end crashes. Intoxicated drivers have slower reflections, often are unable to notice other cars, and it’s not uncommon for them to fall asleep behind the wheel.
- Distracted driving – today we have phones, GPS, radio, AC, and other things that are distracting us while driving. Texting, talking on the phone, adjusting the AC are just a few distractions that often lead to accidents. Sometimes even loud passengers and children may distract the driver.
- Weather – Snow, ice, fog, and rain can contribute to rear-end accidents.
- Sudden stops – Although rear-end accidents are often thought to be caused by the driver in the back, some of them happen because of the driver in the front (abrupt stopping). This happens very often and often drivers in the back have no time to stop their car. Such sudden stops lead to chain crashes. There are many reasons why the driver in front might stop short. Sometimes it may happen because of a lapse in good judgment. Often it happens because something suddenly came in front of the vehicle. Sudden stops are quite dangerous if the front vehicle is tall and the rear one can’t see anything in front.
How to Avoid Hitting a Car From the Back
The best way to avoid such accidents is to follow the two-second rule. It means not to keep your eyes off the road for more than two seconds. Anything longer than that can lead to a disaster.
Also, there is another two-second rule that refers to the distance. Pick a point on the road; once the driver in front of you passes this point, it should take at least two seconds for you to reach that point.
This is a good indicator for a safe distance between you and the other driver. Even if that driver stops you’ll have enough time to react.
How To Avoid Such Accidents
Often glance at your side view and rearview mirrors. If you notice a vehicle that is tailgating you or speeding up behind you, move to another lane to avoid potential accidents.
If you’re driving on a highway where the speed is usually 60mph, you should be mindful of traffic jams. If you notice slow traffic, keep enough room between you and the vehicle in the front.
When to Seek an Attorney
Many people wonder what to do after being rear-ended.
In general, it’s best to contact a car accident attorney as soon as possible. If you’re feeling well, call your lawyer and tell them everything you remember from the accident. If you managed to take photos of the accident scene, cars, plates, weather, and other important things, show those to your attorney. They would also collect other evidence that would help your case.
To recover damages for a rear-end crash, you may need to prove that the other driver was negligent. Your attorney will need to prove duty, breach of duty, causation, and damages.
Drivers might breach the duty to use reasonable care in many different ways. A breach can occur when a driver speeds and doesn’t pay attention to the road and watch for dangers, doesn’t stop within a reasonable time, fails to maintain control over the vehicle, doesn’t keep a safe distance, etc. When the breach causes an accident, it may be possible to collect damages.
New Mexico is a fault state; it uses a tort-based system. The responsible driver for the accident will be financially liable to everyone involved. If you file a claim with the liable person’s insurers, you’ll be able to collect a settlement.
Let our team at FBD Law help you with that.