Rear-end collisions are some of the most common types of car accidents today; if you haven’t been in one of these collisions yourself, there’s a good chance that you know several other people who have. These collisions can range from minor “fender benders” to very severe crashes resulting in serious injuries.
At The Law Offices of Dianne Sawaya, LLC, we want our readers to understand what these collisions are all about and how it is possible to receive compensation if you’ve been injured in one of these types of accidents.
Rear-End Collisions: The Basics
According to the U.S. Department of Transportation (U.S. DOT) and the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) in the publication “Driver Attributes and Rear-End Crash Involvement Propensity,” a rear-end collision is defined as “a crash in which the front of one vehicle collides with the rear of another vehicle. Thus, a driver involved in such a crash may be the driver of a striking vehicle, of the struck vehicle, or of the vehicle that both struck and was struck.”
“Rear-end crashes are not only one of the frequently occurring types of crashes,” the publication states, “but also are responsible for a large number of injuries and fatalities and substantial property damage every year.”
Rear-End Collisions: The Facts and Stats
Data from the National Transportation Safety Board shows that rear-end collisions are more common than many American drivers realize:
- Between 2012 and 2014, nearly 50% of all two-vehicle crashes on U.S. roads involved a rear-end collision.
- For each of the three years measured during this time, rear-end collisions killed approximately 1,700 people per year; thousands more were injured each year.
The National Center for Statistics and Analysis stated that:
- Data from 2000 shows that rear-end collisions in 2000 represented 29.7% of all crashes.
- During this same year, rear-end collisions were responsible for 30% of all car accident injuries and 29.7% of all property damage.
- With 190,625,023 licensed drivers on the road that year (according to the Federal Highway Administration [FHWA]), 6% of licensed drivers were involved in a car crash of some kind that year.
- Out of all licensed drivers involved in a collision, more than one-third (36%) were involved in a rear-end collision alone.
These sources of data also suggest two other trends for rear-end crashes:
- Male drivers are more likely to be involved in rear-end collisions as the driver striking rather than as the driver being struck;
- As drivers increase in age (starting from age 24 until age 69), they are less likely to be the driver striking and more likely to be the driver who is struck.
Rear-End Collisions: The Consequences
Even a minor collision of this nature can result in serious injuries. The quick back-and-forth movement of a rear-end collision, even at low speeds, can cause injuries that don’t show up until days after the crash itself.
If you’ve been in a rear-end collision, you may have experienced one or more of the following injuries:
- Whiplash: This is the most common type of injury in these collisions. Whiplash is a neck injury that occurs when the head and neck muscles move quickly into unnatural positions. Minor whiplash can result in bruising and muscle strain immediately after the crash, even if it takes a couple of days for the injury to actually start hurting.
- Severe whiplash can involve tearing of soft tissue, nerve damage, tearing and/or rupturing of the ligaments, and vertebrae fractures— all around the neck.
- If airbags deploy, drivers and passengers may suffer from friction burns and bruising on the face.
- Drivers who are wearing their seatbelts may suffer from bruising and friction burns from the belt.
- Drivers who are not wearing their seatbelts are more likely to suffer from head injuries, especially concussions, which may have the long-term symptoms of headaches, migraines, dizziness, and spotty vision.
- Severe injuries— just as with any other car accident— can also include broken and fractured bones, tearing of soft tissues, spine injuries, and other injuries related to the head and neck.
Contact an Auto Accident Attorney for a Rear-End Collision
If you or a loved one have been involved in a rear-end collision, contact the personal injury attorneys at The Law Offices of Dianne Sawaya, LLC. Call our Denver office today to speak with one of our experienced attorneys or to set up a free and confidential consultation. We’ve made it our mission to protect victims who are injured in accidents, including rear-end collisions, and we’re committed to helping you get the compensation you deserve. Contact us today by calling our office, sending an email, or filling out a short contact form located on our website.