A rear end collision occurs when the front bumper of one driver’s vehicle collides with the rear bumper of another driver’s vehicle. Rear-end collisions are not only one of the most frequent types of car accidents, but also result in considerable injuries, fatalities, and property damage each year.
In most rear end collisions, the driver that hits the other car from behind is determined to be at fault. Fault is not codified in the California Vehicle Code, but it is generally recognized that a driver should allow a safe stopping distance by not following too close or driving too fast. Drivers should also avoid distractions that might cause them to not pay attention to traffic patterns.
Victims of rear end collisions may be entitled to financial compensation for medical bills, pain and suffering, and other losses. To learn what your damages could be worth, schedule a free initial consultation with Avrek Law Firm, by calling toll-free 1.888.333.5009 or submitting this online form.
Rear End Accidents Facts and Statistics
The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) provides the following data on rear-end accidents:
- Around 29% of all crashes are rear-end crashes.
- 30% of all car accident injuries and 29.7% of all car accident property damage are caused by rear-end crashes.
- Drivers under the age of 18 have the highest incidence of rear-end collisions followed by drivers between the ages of 18 and 24.
- Males cause about 60 percent of rear-end crashes. Not surprisingly, young male drivers are the most likely to rear-end another vehicle.
According to a 2007 NHTSA report, rear end events are predominately characterized by:
- A decelerating lead vehicle (45% of incidents)
- A stopped lead vehicle (38%)
The report concluded that among rear-end crashes in which the driver struck the lead vehicle, 87 percent of crashes included some degree of driver distraction, particularly of visual attention. The use of wireless devices was cited as a top distraction for drivers, although interestingly, the devices were associated with near-crashes but not crashes. This can likely be explained by the absence of text-messaging as a specific distraction category. More recent data makes clear that driving while texting, blamed for 1.3 million crashes per year, is extremely dangerous (read more about distracted driving accidents). Texting behind the wheel is so dangerous because it distracts visual attention.
Rear-End Accident Injuries
During an auto collision the driver’s and passengers’ heads move suddenly backward and then forward, putting stress on the neck. The motion resembles somebody cracking a whip, thus this type of neck injury is commonly referred to as “whiplash”. Occupants of the vehicle that gets rear-ended are at the greatest risk of suffering whiplash, which can damage neck muscles, tendons, and ligaments as well as spinal disks. Whiplash injuries can cause numerous health problems, including:
- Pain and stiffness in the neck and shoulders
- Jaw pain
- Back pain
- Arm pain and weakness
- Visual disturbances
- Ringing in the ears
Severe cases of whiplash can even lead to so-called “whiplash associated disorders.” These disorders are characterized by alterations in the sensory and motor systems and can lead to psychological distress such as depression, anger, anxiety, stress, sleep disturbance, and social isolation.
Although insurance companies sometimes argue that low-speed collisions cannot cause the types of injuries described above, science disagrees. In fact, low-impact collisions—which may leave no skid marks or visible damage to the vehicle—are capable of causing occupant injury, including whiplash.
Get Help Moving Forward After a Rear-End Accident
There are very few cases where the driver of a vehicle that strikes another vehicle from behind is not at fault. If you were rear-ended and injured and are now being given short shrift by an insurance company, you need aggressive representation to get the compensation you’re owed. Avrek Law Firm, attorneys have more than 30 years of combined experience helping the victims of car crashes. Take the first step to recovery with your free initial case review. Call Avrek Law Firm, toll-free at 1.888.333.5009 or send a secure online message.
- National Highway Traffic Safety Administration: Driver Attributes and Rear-End Crash Involvement Propensity
- National Highway Traffic Safety Administration: Analyses of Rear-End Crashes and Near-Crashes
- National Institutes of Health: Rear-end Impacts: Vehicle and Occupant Response
- National Institutes of Health: Characterization of acute and chronic whiplash-associated disorders
- Spine-health.com: What is Whiplash?