Rear-end car accidents account for as many as 23% of all traffic accidents,1 As minor as these rear-end crashes can be, Texas personal injury lawyers also see many serious injuries as well. They are annually responsible for nearly one million injuries and approximately 2,000 fatalities.1
Attorneys who help their clients after car accidents also know that although rear-end crashes are one of the most prevalent traffic accidents that take place, they are also one of the easiest types of accidents to prevent.
Common Causes of Rear-End Car Accidents
Rear-end car accidents occur because a vehicle gets too close to the car or truck in front of them and cannot stop in time to avoid a collision. They tend to occur more frequently in heavier traffic and happen for a number of reasons:
- Tailgating/Stopping Short - Tailgating is the most common cause of rear-end crashes. When a car follows too closely to the vehicle in front of it, there is may not be enough time to stop without a collision. Personal injury lawyers find that the chance of this happening rises exponentially when the car in front stops short. Any time there is insufficient lead-time for the car behind to stop, a rear-end collision is possible.
- Distracted Driving - Drivers who are distracted either by drowsiness, phones, or some other distraction are often involved in rear-end collisions in heavy traffic. Even when moving at slower speeds, it is easy to run into the back of another car when a driver is not paying attention to what is going on in front of them.
- Not Signaling When Turning - Car accident attorneys find that drivers who slow down and make a turn without signaling are another common cause of rear-end crashes. The drivers behind may not be expecting this maneuver and could delay applying their brakes to avoid hitting them.
Rear-End Crashes Can Cause Severe Injuries
Even though most high traffic rear-end car accidents happen at slower speeds, passengers can still be severely injured. The most common injuries personal injury lawyers see in these type of accidents include back and neck injuries, whiplash, joint and soft tissue injuries, and traumatic injuries caused by airbag deployment or colliding with something inside the car. Occasionally, these injuries can be fatal.
Who Is At Fault in Rear-End Accidents?
When rear-end collisions occur, it is generally assumed that fault lies with the driver in the rear who collided with the car in front. It is every driver’s responsibility to maintain a safe stopping distance to prevent such crashes. Of course, not every rear-end crash is the same. When car accident attorneys can demonstrate that the driver of the lead vehicle was negligent in some way and the collision was unavoidable by the following car driver, that driver may not be considered as the one at fault.
The main message personal injury lawyers hope all drivers consider is that rear-end car accidents are dangerous and more likely to happen in heavy traffic; however, they are also avoidable in most circumstances. If you are a driver, it is essential to pay attention to all traffic, especially vehicles in front of you, and maintain an adequate stopping distance. Car accident attorneys stress that when rear-end collisions are prevented, drivers can avoid the injuries and vehicle damage that may otherwise happen!
Hildebrand & Wilson, Attorneys at Law
7930 Broadway, Suite 122
Pearland TX 77581