Rear end collisions are a common menace on our roads, accounting for a third of total road accidents in 2017.
Although only a small number are fatal, these accidents are unique for causing serious injuries and damages such as whiplash, brain damage, facial disfigurement, head injuries, and spinal cord paralysis. Depending on the cause and impact of the collision, car damages might stack up to thousands of dollars, too.
This is why each driver needs to play their part by leaving ample space between them and the front car while being alert to their surroundings. Unfortunately, avoiding a rear end crash is not as simple as this. Another driver might not be as vigilant as you, colliding with your car from behind.
When you are on the road, be on the lookout for the following causes of rear end accidents. Identifying these reasons will also be key when filing a personal injury claim.
1) Distracted Driving
Distractions take the driver’s attention from the road. This gives them no time to react when a front car has slowed down or in the presence of a stationary car, causing a rear end accident.
As a driver, distractions can come from using a cell phone while driving, talking with other passengers, eating, adjusting the music, grooming while driving, among others. If you are the victim of a rear end collision that resulted from distracted driving, a car accident lawyer can talk to witnesses and prove that the other driver was negligent.
2) Driving While Impaired
Driving while impaired from alcohol or any other drugs is perceived as a grievous offense because it involves gross negligence and lack of concern for other people’s safety.
Drunk driving causes a slow response to events happening on the road, impaired decision-making skills, and even drowsiness. All these factors can lead to a rear end collision.
If you are rear-ended by an impaired driver, they are likely to be arrested on the scene for DUI, giving you an upper hand while filing a claim.
3) Speeding and Other Reckless Behaviors
Speeding, tailgating, changing lanes, and cutting off unsafely are all reckless road behaviors that cause rear end accidents.
A vehicle traveling at high speed will have a colossal impact on both cars and their occupants. This often happens when the front car brakes suddenly or the rear driver is distracted.
If you notice a reckless driver on the road, slow down and maintain a safe distance to avoid a rear end crash.
4) Unforeseen Objects on the Road
It is not uncommon to hear a driver say, “It came out of nowhere!” Unanticipated road hazards such as animals, children, or other pedestrians can easily cause a serious rear end accident.
Take this scenario: On a busy highway, an animal darts from one side of the road to the other. To avoid hitting it, the front driver might swerve or stop suddenly. If the rear drivers were at a high speed, this incident can cause a pile-up of damages in multiple cars.
In this case, the burden of proof is to show that there was no time to take a different action that would have prevented the accident.
5) Bad Weather
Bad weather is among the primary causes of rear end accidents. It introduces conditions such as slippery roads and poor visibility.
When the road is wet, a rear vehicle might skid and take a longer time to come to a stop. Foggy and rainy weather makes it difficult to see a front car and one might be unfortunate to stop when it is too late.