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How do rear-end chain reaction car accidents happen?

On Behalf of | Sep 4, 2023 | Motor Vehicle Accidents

Practicing safe driving helps prevent accidents on New Jersey roads. Unfortunately, some people end up in a rear-end chain-reaction collision through no fault of their own. This occurs when one car collides with the back of another car, causing a chain reaction involving multiple vehicles.

Certain events must occur to create this kind of accident. An overview will help you understand if you are at risk of a chain reaction collision.


Some drivers engage in tailgating. This is when a driver follows too closely behind another vehicle. Tailgating is dangerous because it provides little room to react if the car in front suddenly slows down or stops. If the car ahead is close to another vehicle, the impact of hitting the ahead vehicle can push the automobile into another car, which may hit another vehicle until the chain reaction stops.

Distracted driving

Failure to pay adequate attention to the road can also contribute to a rear-end chain reaction accident. The National Safety Council reports that while hand-held phone use among drivers has declined from 2012 to 2021, hand-held electronic device use has gone up 127% in the same period.

In addition, eating, drinking or drowsiness can all divert attention from the road. When the time comes to act, the driver may not be aware of it, resulting in the start of multiple collisions.

Weather conditions

Rain, snow, and fog can reduce visibility and make it hard for vehicles to gain traction on the road. Drivers may not see brake lights or obstacles in time to stop safely. Even drivers who think they are a sensible distance from another vehicle might misjudge their braking speed and collide with another vehicle, beginning a chain reaction.

Chain reaction accidents are dangerous and sometimes fatal if they occur in a heavy traffic location. Staying at a safe distance from another vehicle will lessen the chance of a serious collision.