Rear-end collision avoidance

  • Published
  • By Lex Stokes
  • 78th Environmental Branch chief

You’re watching the traffic light and listening to a new song when KAHH-BLAMM! Your car shutters and slides forward. 

You’ve been rear-ended.  

Next up are conversations with the police, insurance companies, auto repair companies and maybe a doctor – plus an instant drop in car value.   

Could you have avoided this? Maybe – if you had known of and practiced a simple technique called active rear-end collision avoidance. Active rear-end collision avoidance involves three easily remembered actions all based upon the acronym ACT.  

Advanced preparation (A): Stop one to two car lengths short of stop signs and cars ahead of you.   

Check your six (C): Routinely check your rearview mirror to insure approaching cars are slowing.   

Tap/avoid (T): Tap your brakes to flash your lights while easing forward into the space you left when oncoming cars are approaching too fast.  

Younger drivers are more likely to drive while distracted, but they also tend to have better peripheral vision. Thus, with luck, your actions will catch their eye and give them room to stop. 

It does work. On four occasions I’ve avoided rear-end collisions by using this simple technique. So remember to ACT for safety.