Surveying the impact of minor collisions
- The front bumper accounts for nearly a third of all accident damage, while the grille represents 20% (1)
- Rear-end collisions make up 33.4% of the total number of motor vehicle accidents in 2017. (2)
- A dinged bumper can cost $450 to $900 to fix, while repairing rear-end damage to the frame may be up to $10,000. (3)
- There were 2.1 million rear-end collisions in the United States in 2017. (2)
Right (or wrong) of way: How fender benders happen
- Stop and go: Vehicle is rear-ended at a stop or yield sign, or in slowing traffic
- Bumper cars: Vehicle backs into another in a parking lot
- Tight space: Vehicle clips another parked in the next spot
- On the move: Vehicle is hit pulling out into flow of traffic
Fending off fender benders
Stay alert and keep your eyes on the road
- Missing one to two hours of sleep doubles your risk of collision. (4)
- Taking your eyes off the road more than 2 seconds increases the risk of collision by at least 2 times. (5)
- 87% of rear-end collisions occur because the driver wasn't paying attention. (6)
Minimize distractions with technology
Hands-free calling, backup cameras with dashboard display and crash-avoidance technologies can help reduce fender benders.
Making progress with distracted driving
- 47 states and the District of Columbia now ban text messaging for all drivers. (7)
- In the fall of 2017, Apple debuted for iPhone the "Do Not Disturb While Driving" mode, which automatically silences incoming alerts and notifications when you're moving. (8)
- Waterdown Collision, Most Common Car Collision Damages, 2017.
- 2015 Traffic Safety Facts FARS/GES Annual Report, National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, 2017.
- Auto Body Repair Costs 2017 Guide, Impact Auto Body, 2017.
- Missing 1-2 Hours of Sleep Doubles Crash Risk, AAA, 2016.
- Distracted Drivers Are Lethal: Texting and Driving, I Drive Safely by driving, 2018.
- The Use of Forward Collision Avoidance Systems to Prevent and Mitigate Rear-end Crashes, National Transportation Safety Board, 2015.
- Distracted Driving Laws by State, Governors Highway Safety Association, 2017.
- iOS 11: How the New Maps App and Do Not Disturb While Driving Work, Macworld, 2017.
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A fender bender, though sometimes considered a minor car accident, still can be enough to ruin your day. Most rear-end collisions are caused by driver distraction.1 However, there are numerous things drivers can do to improve focus, helping to minimize the chances of a collision.
Rear-end collisions are startling occurrences for all drivers and passengers involved. Not only do you have to take a moment to exchange each other’s information, but you are then left to contend with repairing the damage. The costs can easily add up if your auto insurance coverage is inadequate.
The good news is that you can take precautions to help you stay alert, whether it’s by:
- Getting more sleep
- Relying on hands-free calling
- Using crash-avoidance technologies
A dinged grille or scratched bumper may seem minor, but it can have a major financial impact if you don’t have sufficient auto insurance coverage. Remember to review your options with your insurer to make sure you have the policy that’s right for you and your vehicle. Accidents happen, but taking the right precautions can make them less likely.