Making up over 30% of the traffic accidents in the US every year, rear-end accidents are a daily occurrence across our highways and freeways and are the most common accident that happens. With so many external factors impacting drivers to cause rear-end accidents on the freeways such as tailgating and even the weather, it’s no surprise this type of accident happens so frequently.
As the most common traffic accident in America, we explore why rear-end accidents tend to happen on freeways, and some of the frequent causes of these accidents.
Freeways vs. Highways- what’s the difference
Drivers across the US will be aware of the difference between highways and freeways but most people aren’t aware of the accident risk that comes with driving on either type of road. There’s a clear distinction between highways and freeways; highways having slightly more complex road systems with cross-traffic, traffic signals, and even pedestrian crossings. They can usually be found in rural areas and often have lower speed limits than freeways. A freeway is a type of highway that controls access to the roadway meaning drivers can only enter a controlled-access highway by ramps.
Traffic traveling in opposite directions on the freeway is usually separated by a central reservation, and vehicles wanting to cross a freeway have to use an overpass or underpass. Freeways tend to be in an urban setting and have higher speed limits, compared to highways. Due to the very nature of traffic flowing in the same direction, rear-end accidents are far more frequent as traffic is facing the same direction.
Common causes of rear-end accidents on the freeway
Aside from distracted driving, tailgating is one of the most common causes of rear-end auto accidents on the freeways, as impatient drivers follow vehicles too close behind causing an immediate risk of crashing. Due to the nature of freeways being fast-flowing roads letting traffic all face the same direction, tailgating is very easy to do and according to accident stats, is very common with almost a 3rd of all rear-end accidents being down to tailgating.
In nearly all states across America, tailgating is considered illegal and is punishable with fines if you’re caught. Tailgating on the freeway is perhaps one of the easiest crime drivers commit as traffic flows in the same direction across all lanes.
Another more surprising cause of rear-end accidents is the weather and with many drivers either not being aware of the impact weather can have on driving conditions. Most drivers don’t consider how the weather can impact driving conditions but fog, rain, snow, sleet, ice, and even high winds can all affect control of the vehicle regardless of the posted speed limit. As freeways allow you to drive faster, the influence of weather conditions can immediately increase your chances of crashing with a vehicle in front if you’re not allowing enough space between you and other drivers.
Working with an experienced accident attorney will help your rear-end accident case and getting the justice you deserve from being involved in an accident that wasn’t your fault.