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Number 1 Cause of Indiana Accidents: Not What You'd Think

Steve Wagner

You would think it might come down to texting and driving, semi trucks, reckless driving, or even drunk driving, but the truth is, the number one cause of Indiana car accidents is something that only 1% of traffic tickets are given out for: tailgating.

RTV6 recently looked into this phenomenon in Indiana, and in speaking with local law enforcement, the problem is understandable, although preventable. Indiana State Police Captain Dave Bursten told RTV6 that they can’t possibly stop every car they see for following too closely, because they would have to stop nearly every car. Especially during rush hour traffic, the problem of following too closely, or tailgating, has become so commonplace that most don’t even think of it as a dangerous practice anymore.

The citations for following too closely tend to come in conjunction with citations for other violations, or as the result of an accident caused by the practice. The ratio of accidents to citations is overwhelming, with only 2,034 tickets written in 2014 in Indiana, and an average of over 40,000 rear-ending accidents per year in our state.

While we can’t give our police officers greater resources to hand out citations to violators, we can play our part by reminding drivers to stay safe on the roads. The standard recommendation for a safe distance behind the car in front of you is the “three second rule.” While you are driving, watch the car in front of you; from the time they pass a fixed item (a road sign, a building, etc) count the time before you pass that item. It should be at least a full three seconds between the two cars passing the fixed item.

So when you hit the road, remember to keep a safe space between your car and the other cars on the road around you. We know that sometimes this might be difficult in the middle of traffic, but it’s always better to slow down and stay alert! Pass the word along and help us reduce the number of rear-end crashes in 2015!

If you’ve been in a car wreck, the vehicular accident attorneys at Wagner Reese can help you recover from your injuries and get back on the road to both physical and financial recovery. Call us today for a free consultation at (888) 204-8440.


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