When you are driving your car, most of the time, you are worried about what is in front of you. However, you should also be worried about what goes on behind you, since rear-end collisions are fairly common. Since the prevention of such collisions is largely out of your control, it is a scary thought that your safety often depends on the vigilance of the driver behind you.
Unfortunately, these fears are largely justified. According to vehicle crash statistics, rear-end collisions are the most frequent type of car accident. They represent about 29 percent of collisions nationwide. When these types of collisions occur, they can often result in serious injuries to the driver and passenger, even if the crash results in minimal damage to the vehicle. Due to the nature and location of impact, vehicle occupants can develop neck injuries, traumatic brain injury and spinal cord injures as a result of the collision.
Why rear-end collisions occur
Due to the prevalence of this type of car accident on the nation’s roads, the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration recently commissioned a study on rear-end collisions from the Virginia Tech Transportation Institute. The administration asked the institute, among other things, to research this type of collision to see if there are any common causes or patterns. Some of the findings of the institute were:
- Surprisingly, most rear-end collisions, happen under ideal driving conditions during daylight hours on straight, level and dry roads.
- Most collisions occurred when the driver was following too closely.
- Rear-end collisions were 1.9 percent more likely to be caused by male drivers in the 25-34 age range.
- The overwhelming majority of rear-end collisions occur when the leading vehicle is driving at a slow speed or is slowing down. The study found that about 81 percent of rear-end collisions happen when the lead vehicle was completely stopped.
- In approximately half of the rear-end collisions studied, the driver following the vehicle did not react in time because he or she was not paying attention.
- Driver distraction was the main cause of rear-end collisions. About 90 percent of rear-end collisions occurred when the driver of the following vehicle was talking to a passenger, using a cellphone, eating or daydreaming.
From the study’s findings, it can be concluded that most rear-end collisions can be avoided if drivers would simply pay attention and leave sufficient space to the vehicle in front of them. Sadly, many drivers choose to text, use their cellphones or engage in other distracting activities, despite the obvious danger of doing so.
Since driver negligence is present in the majority of rear-end collisions, if you have been injured in this type of car accident, you may be entitled to recover damages for your medical bills, lost wages and other expenses stemming from the accident. An experienced personal injury attorney can investigate the cause of your accident and work to recover the compensation that you are entitled to.