Rear-end collisions are the most common type of motor vehicle accident in the country, accounting for over 2.5 million accidents a year. According to the National Highway Traffic and Safety Administration (N.H.T.S.A.), rear-end collisions are responsible for nearly 29 percent of all car accidents annually.
While all rear-end accidents can result in damages, these types of collisions at highway speeds are more likely to lead to serious and fatal injuries. Even when following the speed limit, driving too close to a vehicle on the highway increases your risk for a life-threatening crash if the car in front of you suddenly stops or slows.
Thankfully, most rear-end collisions are 100 percent preventable. New York City and Long Island drivers can greatly reduce their risk by avoiding the top two factors leading to these types of accidents: tailgating and speeding. Avoiding these behaviors could save your life or the lives of others on the road, and neither is difficult to prevent.
Safe Distance at Highway Speeds
Following a vehicle too closely, also known as tailgating, can be deadly when cars are traveling at highway speeds. The force of impact from a vehicle slamming into the back of another can lead to injuries including:
- Spinal cord damage;
- Severe fractures;
- Chest injuries;
- Traumatic brain injuries;
- Soft tissue injuries;
- Whiplash; and
The New York State law states motorists are expected to allow a ‘reasonable and prudent’ space between other vehicles on the road. This space is determined by the speed limit, size of your vehicle, the weight of your vehicle, and other factors that affect brake effectiveness, such as road and weather conditions.
According to the NYS Department of Motor Vehicle’s Driving Manual, because these factors are constantly changing, a good rule of thumb to use, the NYS Department of Motor Vehicle’s Driving Manual is to allow enough space for a two to three-second stop when road conditions are normal and to a six-second stop when road conditions are wet or slippery.
Tailgating is not only dangerous in New York State– it’s illegal. First-time offenders of tailgating can face up to a $150 fine, $300 for a second offense, $450 for a third offense, and four points on a driver’s license for subsequent incidents. Additionally, drivers who show a pattern of tailgating behaviors can experience an increase in insurance premiums that could lead to a cancellation of your policy, depending on your driving record.
Safe Speed To Avoid Accidents
Keeping your distance from other vehicles on the road is hard to do when you’re speeding, but it’s not difficult to do when everyone else is speeding too.
Just because a car in front of you is going at a rate above the speed limit does not make it safe to match their pace. The National Safety Council accounted for 26 percent of all traffic fatalities in the United States in 2019 due to speeding. Speeding grants drivers little room to maneuver around road accidents and increases the force sustained when an accident occurs.
In New York State, state highways have a maximum speed limit of 55 mph. Roadways in NY can be windy with sharp curves, elevation changes, and congestion. Because of these factors, it is essential to remain at the speed limit or under to avoid accidents.
NYS speed limits on interstate highways and the NYS thruway cap at 65 mph. While drivers may have more room to maneuver and straighter roads to navigate, higher speeds and the presence of larger motor vehicles pose an additional risk for crashes.
Driving at a reasonable speed will make it easier to keep your distance from another vehicle. The more control you have over your vehicle, the better chance you have of safely avoiding traffic hazards.
New York City and Long Island Vehicle Accident Lawyers
Our personal injury attorneys at the law firm of Siler & Ingber have over 20 years of experience representing accident victims in New York City and Long Island. We protect your rights by maximizing recovery and securing the financial support our clients need to succeed on their road to recovery. Our winning attorneys know how to navigate through the claim process using our experience as insurance defense attorneys. We are not afraid to fight and are fully prepared to take your case to trial to get a justified verdict over settling for less.
If you or a loved one has been injured in a vehicle accident, our team at Siler & Ingber is here to help. With a 98% success rate, we have the experience and the know-how to help our clients achieve a favorable outcome. Contact us today at 1-877-529-4343, or schedule an appointment online anytime. We never charge a fee unless we recover money for you.