Rear End

A rear end crash involves one vehicle or road user running in to the back of another vehicle or road user. This can occur when the front vehicle slows down or stops, or because the following vehicle is travelling faster than the front vehicle.

This is a common crash type on roads, although the severity is often less than for other crash types because the relative speeds of vehicles involved in a rear end collision are generally lower, as they are travelling in the same direction. Also, they frequently occur after both vehicles have undertaken braking action, and thus any secondary impact with the surrounding road environment is less severe. They can be more serious in nature when vehicles of different mass come in to contact (e.g. car and cyclist, truck and car).

The main causes of a rear end crash are a failure to leave a sufficient gap to the vehicle in front, or a lack of attention. In both cases, there may be insufficient time to brake to avoid a collision. The time needed by the driver to make a decision and brake is an important factor and will vary according to the driving conditions, vehicle speed and the road environment.

Typical factors which may add to the rear end crash risk include:

  • poor quality, or poorly maintained roads (including oil, debris or water on the road)
  • traffic 'friction' due to frequent pedestrian or parking movements along the road
  • stopping traffic
  • poor condition of vehicle tyres, brakes and brake lights
  • unstable traffic flow on a high speed road (e.g. sudden stops on some roads during busy periods).
Safer Roads
Estimated cost
Casualty Reduction
Central Turning Lane Full Length
Low
10-25%
Delineation
Low
10-25%
Intersection - Delineation
Low
10-25%
Intersection - Turn Lanes (Signalised)
Low to medium
10-25%
Intersection - Turn Lanes (Unsignalised)
Low to medium
10-25%
Parking Improvements
Low to medium
10-25%
Regulate Roadside Commercial Activity
Low to medium
10-25%
Skid Resistance
Low to medium
25-40%
Shoulder Sealing
Medium
25-40%
Speed Management
Medium
25-40%
One Way Network
Medium
25-40%
Restrict/Combine Direct Access Points
Medium to high
25-40%
Traffic Calming
Medium to high
25-40%
Additional Lane
High
25-40%
Intersection - Grade Separation
High
25-40%
Safer Vehicles
Estimated cost
Casualty Reduction
Vehicle Features and Devices
Low
60% or more
Motor Vehicle Standards
Low
60% or more
Used Car Safety Ratings
Low
60% or more
Vehicle Roadworthiness
Low
60% or more
New Car Assessment Program (NCAP)
High
25-40%
Safer People
Estimated cost
Casualty Reduction
Enforcement
Low
60% or more
Addressing Alcohol and Other Drugs
Low
60% or more
Education
Low
60% or more
Fatigue Management
Low
60% or more
Helmets and Protective Clothing
Low
60% or more
Seatbelts
Low
60% or more
Safe Speed
Low
60% or more
Publicity
Low
60% or more
Licensing
Medium
40-60%

Safer Roads

Safer Roads
Estimated cost
Casualty Reduction
Central Turning Lane Full Length
Low
10-25%
Delineation
Low
10-25%
Intersection - Delineation
Low
10-25%
Intersection - Turn Lanes (Signalised)
Low to medium
10-25%
Intersection - Turn Lanes (Unsignalised)
Low to medium
10-25%
Parking Improvements
Low to medium
10-25%
Regulate Roadside Commercial Activity
Low to medium
10-25%
Skid Resistance
Low to medium
25-40%
Shoulder Sealing
Medium
25-40%
Speed Management
Medium
25-40%
One Way Network
Medium
25-40%
Restrict/Combine Direct Access Points
Medium to high
25-40%
Traffic Calming
Medium to high
25-40%
Additional Lane
High
25-40%
Intersection - Grade Separation
High
25-40%

Safer Vehicles

Safer Vehicles
Estimated cost
Casualty Reduction
Vehicle Features and Devices
Low
60% or more
Motor Vehicle Standards
Low
60% or more
Used Car Safety Ratings
Low
60% or more
Vehicle Roadworthiness
Low
60% or more
New Car Assessment Program (NCAP)
High
25-40%

Safer People

Safer People
Estimated cost
Casualty Reduction
Enforcement
Low
60% or more
Addressing Alcohol and Other Drugs
Low
60% or more
Education
Low
60% or more
Fatigue Management
Low
60% or more
Helmets and Protective Clothing
Low
60% or more
Seatbelts
Low
60% or more
Safe Speed
Low
60% or more
Publicity
Low
60% or more
Licensing
Medium
40-60%

Did you know?

Sealed shoulders reduce the chance of 'overcorrection' and head on crashes.

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