Why Negligent Drivers Cause Rear-End Collisions

Gabriel A. Assaad
Partner Gabriel Assaad represents victims of negligence and medical malpractice nationwide.

If you were hit in a rear-end collision, do not make the mistake some victims make by not taking the accident seriously. According to the Insurance Two Vehicles After a Rear-End CollisionInstitute for Highway Safety (IIHS), rear-end collisions are the third leading causes of fatalities in motor vehicle crashes, causing nine percent of all deaths—919 deaths—in 2014. Even “minor” rear-end crashes at intersections can result in a person suffering long-term injuries and pain. Fortunately, you may be able to hold the negligent driver responsible for compensating you for your medical bills, lost wages, and pain and suffering.

Common Causes of Rear-End Collisions

Rear-end accidents occur when the front end of one vehicle hits the rear end of another one. Motorists are required to maintain a safe distance from the vehicle in front of them so they can slow down and stop when necessary—even in an emergency situation or poor driving conditions. Because of this, the driver in the rear is almost always at fault, which could make proving liability easier. Some of the main ways these crashes occur include:

  • Tailgating. When a driver is tailgating, he is violating the traffic law of maintaining a safe distance from other vehicles. In addition, tailgating makes it impossible to stop in an emergency situation when the vehicle in front must quickly slow down or slam on his brakes.
  • Distracted driving. It only takes a few seconds of distracted driving where the driver’s mind and eyes are not on his driving to miss a vehicle slowing down or braking. Eating and drinking, reading a GPS, texting, talking on a cell phone, and looking at instrument panels are some of the common distractions that cause a driver to rear-end another vehicle.
  • Intoxication. When a driver is intoxicated due to drug use or alcohol consumption, his reaction time is slowed and his general driving abilities impaired. This could result in him not judging the time he needs to stop, failing to see the motorist in front of him brake, or engaging in other unsafe driving practice that cause a rear-end wreck.
  • Weather conditions. Rain, ice, snow, and fog can reduce visibility and make driving treacherous. When a motorist is not more careful, he can easily slide into the back end of another vehicle if he loses control or is unable to stop.
  • Fatigue. Inattention is the consequence when a driver drives when he is drowsy. He may misjudge distances or not see the need to stop because his eyes are closed for a few seconds or longer if he falls asleep.
  • Speeding. As with tailgating, a speeding driver does not leave enough space between his vehicle and the one in front of him. This can be especially dangerous if he is trying to “make the light.”
  • Road conditions. Road conditions, such as potholes, hidden or bent signs, or malfunctioning traffic lights can all be contributing factors in rear-end collisions.

What Injuries Are Caused in Rear-End Collisions?

One reason victims who are rear ended do not take the crash seriously enough is that they may not experience any symptoms of their injuries for days or longer. This is common with some injuries and adrenaline can also mask the pain. However, these injuries should not be taken lightly, and an accident victim should at least be examined by a doctor soon after the crash. Common injuries that people suffer include:

  • Head injuries, including traumatic brain injuries
  • Back injuries, such as compression of the discs or spine
  • Whiplash
  • Facial injuries, such as nose, cheek, and jaw fractures, lacerations, burns from an airbag deployment, and detachment of the retina
  • Neck injuries
  • Spinal cord injuries
  • Fractures and broken bones
  • Internal organ damage and bleeding

Even if you can prove the other driver’s liability easily, do not assume that negotiations with his insurance adjuster will go easily—unless he is offering you substantially less than your claim is worth. Call us today at 855.947.0707 to schedule a free case evaluation with the experienced car accident attorneys at Kennedy Hodges, LLP, to learn what your claim is worth and how we can help you get the compensation you deserve.