There are roughly 1.7 million rear-end collisions in the U.S. every year. Nearly 2,000 people die in those collisions and another 500,000 are injured.
At UCLA, it's the most frequent type of collision reported, accounting for 37% of all incidents and half of all costs incurred. The main cause is tailgating, according to the California Driver Handbook.
UCLA Transportation is launching its 7th Annual Be Alert Bruins driver safety campaign this month. With the steady increase in rear-end collisions reported in UCLA's auto loss data, this year's campaign is "Take the Time: Rear-End Collisions Happen in Seconds."
Following too closely to the vehicle in front of you prevents drivers from seeing far ahead to avoid potential hazards. They key strategy against rear-end collisions is to create a safe following distance between your vehicle and the vehicle you are following by using the "4 Second Rule," a technique in which a driver maintains four seconds of distance behind the vehicle up ahead. For faster speeds, an even greater distance needs to be maintained.
Here are examples of driver attitudes that can lead to you being involved in a rear-end collision:
- The "Me First" Driver
- The "Tailgater"
- The "Lane Hopper"
- The "Multitasker"
- The "Road Rager"
- The "Intimidator"
ENTER THE #PULLOVERANDDOTHAT SOCIAL MEDIA CONTEST
Have you seen a motorist dangerously trying to multitask on the road? Were they reading a newspaper? Eating while driving with their feet? Maybe even washing their hair? Tell us about it! The crazier the story, the better.
Post your story on Facebook, Twitter or Instagram, or leave a comment at the bottom of this post for a chance to win an emergency roadside kit ($49.95 value). Be sure to include #PullOverAndDoThat in your description. Photos of the incident will not be counted as entries. Each contestant may submit one unique post per platform, limit four entries. The winning post will be selected based on a staff vote.
TAKE THE "TAKE THE TIME" DRIVER SAFETY QUIZ AND BE ENTERED TO WIN
Take our "Take the Time" driver safety quiz to be automatically entered to win one of three emergency roadside kits. Winners will be randomly selected.
All entries for the quiz and for the #PullOverAndDoThat contest must be received by Saturday, April 30, 2016, at 11:59 p.m. Winners will be announced on or after Monday, May 2, 2016.
Click here to read the terms and conditions for both the quiz and social media contest.