One of the most common forms of traffic accidents is a rear-end collision, which is an accident that involves a vehicle running into the vehicle in front of it. According to the National Transportation Safety Board, over 1.7 million rear-end accidents occurred in the U.S. leading to 500,000 injuries and more than 1,700 deaths in 2012. Why is this type of accident so common, and what type of injuries frequently arise from them?
Causes of Rear-End Collisions
There are many possible causes for rear-end collisions. In many cases, the driver who causes the accident is not paying close enough attention to what is going on ahead. Areas of heavy, slow-moving traffic often trigger impatience and inattention.
Some of the other common reasons that a driver causes a rear-end collision include:
- Distractions such as cell phone, radio, GPS, passengers, etc.
- Riding too close to the car in front of them
- Poor weather conditions including iciness, wet or slippery roads
- Reduced visibility such as fog, heavy rain, glare or smoke
- Driving under the influence of alcohol or other substances
Drivers who aren’t being attentive take longer to react to a potential collision, such as a line of stopped cars or road crews performing repairs. Glancing away from the road to look at signs, a passenger, or a text for just a few seconds can result in a driver being unable to stop or slow down in time to avoid a collision.
Common Injuries from Rear-End Collisions
There is potential to sustain very serious injuries if your vehicle is hit from behind. The extent of your injury may be related to how fast the other vehicle is traveling on impact and whether you had time to react to the impending collision, as well as the size of the other vehicle. When the other vehicle is traveling at a slow rate of speed, you may not know you are hurt until at least a few days have passed after the accident.
One of the most common injuries caused by a rear-end collision is a neck injury. Rear impact can force the head forward, back and then forward again, which is known as whiplash. Although this type of impact could cause a fracture or damage to a disc, it is even more likely to cause soft tissue damage and result in muscle or tissue pain.
Other injuries that may arise because of a rear-end collision include head trauma, broken bones and back injuries. If the impact is severe, you may suffer spinal damage, traumatic brain injury, or damage to your internal organs.
What to Do If You Are Injured in a Rear-End Collision
At the scene of the accident, call the police to make sure the accident is evaluated. Seek prompt medical attention even if you think your injuries are minor and be sure to follow up with your doctor if new symptoms begin a few days after a car accident.
Most of the time, the driver who caused the rear-end collision will be considered liable since drivers are expected to be aware of their surroundings at all times and should be prepared to stop their vehicle on short notice. Other factors may come under consideration, such as reduced visibility, or a chain reaction involving multiple vehicles.
If you have been injured in a rear-end collision caused by someone else’s negligence, it’s a good idea to consult a personal injury lawyer so that your case can be evaluated. Contact Taos Injury Lawyers by filling out the form on this page. Our team wants to help you and will get back to you soon.