When driving, you must be aware of what is happening around you. You never know when someone might pull out in front of you or when a car will start to back up. If you’ve been in a rear-end collision, you know that it can be a frightening experience.
But what are the consequences? Rear-end collisions can cause serious injuries, so it’s important to know what to do if you’re involved in one. In this article, we’ll discuss everything you need to know about these types of accidents, so let’s start.
What Is a Rear-End Collision and Its Most Common Causes?
A rear-end accident occurs when a vehicle hits the back of another car. A variety of factors can cause rear-end accidents.
These collisions can happen at any speed but are more likely to occur at lower speeds. This is because it takes longer for a driver to stop a vehicle than to accelerate a car.
Although there are many different causes, driver error is the most common cause of rear-end accidents.
Texting, personal conversations, and other forms of distracted driving take the driver’s focus off the road. This can lead to following too closely and not being able to stop in time if the car in front brakes suddenly.
Even if a driver is paying attention, tailgating or driving too closely to the car in front is a significant cause of rear-end accidents. If the vehicle ahead makes a sudden stop, the trailing car may not have enough time or space to brake safely, resulting in an accident.
Who Is at Fault in a Rear-End Collision?
The driver who hits the car in front is often assumed to be at fault for a rear-end collision. However, many factors can contribute to this type of accident, and it is not always easy to determine who is responsible.
For example, if the driver who was hit were brake checking or cut off the other driver, the rear-end collision fault would be theirs. Similarly, if the road was wet or slippery, the driver who lost control may be deemed responsible.
Both drivers may share responsibility for the rear-ended car accident in some cases. For instance, if one driver was going too fast and the other driver was not paying attention, then both parties may be found liable.
Rear-End Car Damage
Rear-end accidents can cause significant damage to your car, including crumpled fenders, broken headlights, and damaged suspension components.
Also, a rear-end car accident often ends in frame damage, putting stress on the vehicle’s suspension system. It can also cause the struts, shocks, and other parts to wear out faster.
If you are involved in such an accident, it is vital to have a professional check your car to ensure that there is no hidden damage.
Rear-End Collision Injuries
Among the most frequent injuries those in rear-end accidents experience are neck and back injuries and damage to the spine.
While on the subject of what to expect physically a car accident, remember that hand, wrist, and arm injuries, facial injuries, broken bones, head injuries, brain trauma, crush injuries, whiplash, and internal bleeding are also common.
Receiving medical attention as soon as possible is crucial for anyone who has been in a rear-ended accident. This applies even if they believe they didn’t suffer any injury. Some of these injuries may not be immediately apparent but could have long-term consequences if you don’t treat them.
Rear-End Collision Physics
These types of accidents lead to predictable injuries due to two physics principles:
- A resting object will keep resting until force is applied. So, let’s show an example of getting rear-ended while stopped. If the front car is standing still, it will want to keep standing still. When another vehicle hits it from behind, it pushes the passengers back, creating substantial stress on the neck and back.
- The second physics principle that comes into play when a vehicle is thrust into motion is that a moving object will remain in motion until acted on by force. So, the passengers of the front vehicle will move forward after the rear-end car crash until stopped by seat belts, airbags, the dashboard, or other structures in the car. This can lead to additional neck, chest, and head injuries.
What to Do After a Rear-End Collision
After such a collision, even after a minor rear-end collision, it is crucial to assess the damage and call for help if necessary. If the cars are still drivable, pull over to the side of the road and turn on your hazard lights. If there are some injuries, call 911 and wait for help to arrive.
Once the police arrive and file a report, you will need to exchange insurance information with the other driver. If there are no injuries or the rear-end crash caused minor car accident damage, you can file a claim with your insurance company.
If the insurance company refuses to negotiate for a fair settlement for the rear impact, a rear-ended lawsuit may be what you need to file next to get the compensation you deserve.
To win your case after the rear-end accident lawsuit, you will need to prove that the other driver was at fault and you suffered damages due to the accident.
Furthermore, if the damage is significant or there are injuries, you may need to hire an attorney. An experienced car accident attorney will be able to guide you through the claims process and help you get the compensation you deserve.
If you drive a self-driving car, be extra careful, as data shows that getting hit from the rear is the most common self-driving car accident.
Learn more about what do do after a car accident.
Rear-End Collision Settlement Examples
If you’ve been in a rear-end collision, you may wonder how much your settlement will be. The truth is, it depends on many factors.
The severity of your injuries, the amount of damage to your car, and whether you were at fault for the accident will play a role in determining your settlement amount. However, the average settlement for such an accident is likely under $15,000.
Also, remember that if you are rear-ended in a company vehicle, yours may be a good case for additional damages.
People Also Ask
What type of collision is a rear-end?
It’s a type of collision that happens when one vehicle hits the rear end of another car. This can occur in many ways, such as when one driver slams on the brakes and the car behind them doesn’t have time to stop, a vehicle is hit from behind in a parking lot, or two cars are moving, and one driver cuts off the other.
What percentage of crashes are rear-end crashes?
According to recent studies, rear-end accidents account for around 29% of all traffic accidents that result in a serious injury. Moreover, these accidents account for more than 7% of the traffic-related deaths and almost a fifth of the fatalities involving two-vehicle collisions.
What causes most rear-end accidents?
Many factors can contribute to rear-ended accidents:
- distracted driving
- driver fatigue
- inclement weather conditions
- defective brakes or poor vehicle maintenance
Is rear-ending always your fault?
Rear-ending a car is not automatically your fault. Many factors could contribute to the accident, such as the speed of traffic, the distance between vehicles, and the visibility of both drivers.
What injury is most common in a rear-end collision?
Whiplash is the injury most commonly associated with rear-end accidents. It’s a neck injury that happens when the head and neck are suddenly whipped backward and then forward.
Symptoms can include headaches, neck pain, dizziness, fatigue, and problems with memory or concentration.
Can a rear-end collision damage the engine?
This collision can undoubtedly damage the engine, though it depends on the force of the impact. If the effect is severe enough, it could potentially affect the vehicle’s drivetrain—meaning that the car might not be able to move forwards or backward properly.
Additionally, if the exhaust system is moved forward from the rear-end impact, it can cause damage to vital parts of the engine such as the catalytic converter, exhaust manifold, muffler, and “Y” pipe.
What should you look for after a rear-end collision?
If you are involved in a rear-end collision, there are a few things you should look for:
1. Make sure everyone is okay.
2. Look at your car for damage.
3. Get contact information from other drivers involved in the accident.