Collision avoidance systems can play a vital role in reducing the number of accidents and saving human lives. In this paper, we introduce and validate a novel method for vehicles reactive collision avoidance using evolutionary neural networks (ENN). A single front-facing rangefinder sensor is the only input required by our method. The training process and the proposed method analysis and validation are carried out using simulation. Extensive experiments are conducted to analyse the proposed method and evaluate its performance. Firstly, we experiment the ability to learn collision avoidance in a static free track. Secondly, we analyse the effect of the rangefinder sensor resolution on the learning process. Thirdly, we experiment the ability of a vehicle to individually and simultaneously learn collision avoidance. Finally, we test the generality of the proposed method. We used a more realistic and powerful simulation environment (CarMaker), a camera as an alternative input sensor, and lane keeping as an extra feature to learn. The results are encouraging; the proposed method successfully allows vehicles to learn collision avoidance in different scenarios that are unseen during training. It also generalizes well if any of the input sensor, the simulator, or the task to be learned is changed.