ALL ABOUT REAR-END ACCIDENTS
According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), “rear-end crashes are the most frequently occurring type of collision, accounting for approximately 29% of all crashes and resulting in a substantial number of injuries and fatalities each year.” Data from the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS) confirms – rear-end collisions were responsible for 1,310 passenger vehicle occupant deaths in 2018, or about 6% of the year’s fatalities. In 2017, the Insurance Information Institute logged 2,456 fatal rear-end accidents and attributed 7.2% of fatal crashes to this kind of collision.
WHY DO REAR-END ACCIDENTS HAPPEN?
Approximately 87% of rear-end crashes involve a driver failing to attend to the traffic ahead. Many of these collisions occur in heavy traffic or situations in which the lead vehicle is stopped or moving slowly. When drivers take their attention away from the road for even a few seconds, they can fail to anticipate braking and react to the vehicle in front of them.
Further, the following behaviors contribute to rear-end collisions:
- Tailgating and aggressive driving
- Driving under the influence of drugs or alcohol
- Drowsy or distracted driving
In most rear-end accidents, the rear driver is at fault. Nevertheless, lead drivers sometimes reverse into the rear vehicle or drive with broken taillights. If the lead driver is intoxicated or intentionally trying to get hit, they could also be responsible for the collision.
NOT JUST A FENDER BENDER
Although many rear-end accidents occur with minor property damage and without injury, these crashes can be serious, and as the statistics suggest, fatal.
Common injuries involved in rear-end accidents include:
- Soft tissue injuries
- Neck and back injuries
- Herniated discs
- Broken bones
- Burns and airbag injuries
- Wrist and arm injuries
- Bruising and lacerations
Even rear-end crashes that seem minor can leave you with serious injuries. Sometimes, these ailments do not emerge right away, which is why you should always seek medical attention after a car accident – no matter how “minor” it may appear.
WHAT TO DO AFTER A REAR-END ACCIDENT
If you are involved in a rear-end collision, stay at the scene of the accident. Check everyone in your car for injuries and move your car if it is in the path of traffic and it is safe to do so. If anyone is seriously injured, call 911, but if everyone seems okay, call the nearest police station or highway patrol.
While you wait for help to arrive, you can check on the other driver and exchange contact and insurance information. Avoid talking about fault and do not apologize. You may also want to take photos of the damage and your surroundings and speak to any witnesses who may be available. When the police get to the scene, tell them what happened. Speak in terms of fact and avoid speculation. Make sure to ask for a copy of the police report. Once you get permission to leave the scene, go to the nearest hospital or urgent care, or schedule an appointment with your doctor.
Before you contact your insurance company, you may want to speak to an attorney, especially if you sustained any injuries.
Richardson Richardson Boudreaux, PLLC is always here for you if you want to discuss your case.
You can call us anytime at 918-492-7674 or send us a message online.