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What is the Cause of Most Rear-End Collisions?

two people arguing after a rear-end accident

Helping Our Clients Identify the Causes of Most Rear-End Collisions 

According to the NHTSA, rear-end collisions are the most common type of car crash, accounting for one-third of all accidents. According to 2018 statistics, over 594,000 rear-end collision injuries, with over 2,400 being fatal. An additional 1.5 million resulted in property damage only.

But why are rear-end crashes so common? And what are most rear end collisions caused by? This blog post lays out the primary causes of rear-end collisions and what you can do to avoid being involved in this type of crash. We also answer some frequently asked questions regarding rear-end accidents.

man and woman arguing after a rear-end accidentWhat Is the Primary Cause of Rear-End Collisions?

Driver distraction is the leading cause of rear-end collisions. While driving, we constantly have to make speed adjustments based on the car in front of us in order to stay a safe distance away. This is especially important when the car ahead slows to a complete stop. Distractions hurt our ability to account for these changes.

Common driving distractions include:

  • Texting

  • Loud music

  • “Zoning-out” or letting your mind wander

  • Adjusting your GPS

  • Handling your pets and children

  • Talking to passengers

If any of these common distractions are present while driving, you are putting yourself at a greater risk of an accident.

How to Avoid an Accident: Do what you can to limit your distractions while driving, so you can limit your chance of a crash in the future. Put phones and other distractions away in your purse or in the glove box so that they won't be a temptation.

Have you been involved in a rear-end collision? Our Rapid City car accident attorneys are here to help represent you. Contact Whiting Hagg & Dorsey LLP today at (605) 519-6136 or contact us online!

Why Is Reaction Time so Important to Avoid a Crash?

Reaction times are a big reason for rear-end crashes. You need to give yourself enough time to react and avoid things that can weaken your reaction time.

A study by the University of Iowa conducted in the year 2000 found that the average reaction time to brake is about 2.3 seconds. If you are going at highway speeds, that could easily be 200 or more feet before you can apply your brake. If you’re driving very aggressively and are only giving the car ahead a few feet, you have absolutely no way to react quickly enough to that car suddenly applying the brakes.

How to Avoid an Accident: Always try to stay about 3 seconds behind the car in front of you to give yourself adequate time to brake

How Can Bad Weather Play a Role in Rear End Collisions?

In bad weather, it’s even more important to be mindful of safe driving. Hydroplaning and sliding on ice generally do not excuse you from fault in a rear-end crash. This is because you accept the responsibility to drive safely whenever you get behind the wheel.

Drive slower and give yourself even more time to brake than you normally would. Braking too suddenly in snow or wet weather can cause you to skid and hit the car in front of you. If you are in heavy fog or snow, be prepared for a car to appear suddenly out of the fog. Always be cautious in these conditions.

How to Avoid an Accident: The best way to avoid rear-end crashes is to be mindful and pay attention to the road at all times. Be especially cautious in unfavorable conditions and bad weather. Give yourself enough time to react to the cars ahead of you.

Rear-End Accident FAQ:

Q. Who is at fault in a rear-end collision?

In most cases, the driver in the back is assumed to be at fault for rear-end accidents. This is because each driver is responsible for controlling their own vehicle and stopping in time even if the car in front of them stops suddenly.

However, there are certain circumstances where this may not be the case. For example, if the car in front of you reversed into your vehicle, or if the driver in front of you was driving recklessly and making sudden unexpected lane changes. In some cases, if the driver in front did not have working brake lights, then they could be held responsible for the crash.

Q. What is the average settlement for a rear-end collision?

Like any car accident claim, if you were injured in a crash caused by someone else, you have the right to pursue compensation for medical expenses, missed work, pain, suffering, and more. Each settlement amount will vary depending on the extent of your injuries and the events leading up to the crash.

To get a better idea of what your case may be worth, you can speak to one of our injury lawyers in a free consultation.

Q. What are the most common injuries in a rear-end collision?

Some of the most common rear-end collision injuries include:

  • Whiplash
  • Back or spinal cord injuries
  • Head or brain injuries
  • Wrist or arm injuries
  • Injuries caused by your seatbelt
  • Injuries caused by airbag deployment
  • Facial injuries or disfigurement

Injured in a rear-end accident? The team at Whiting Hagg & Dorsey is here to help get you the compensation you deserve.

Now that you have learned more about what causes most rear-end collisions, contact Whiting Hagg & Dorsey, LLP today to learn how our car accident lawyers in Rapid City can help you!