What Causes Rear-End Collisions?
About 29% (nearly a third) of all auto accidents are rear-end collisions, according to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA). Even at low speeds, rear-end accidents can cause severe and even life-threatening injuries.
Rear-end accidents can happen for any reason, but their most common causes are listed below.
Some drivers will follow too closely behind other vehicles (an act known as tailgating), especially in slow-moving traffic. Tailgating is a dangerous behavior that is the leading cause of rear-end collisions.
Tailgating is risky because it greatly decreases a driver’s stopping distance, according to the Texas Department of Insurance (TDI). Stopping distance is how far a vehicle needs to come to a complete stop. The larger and heavier the car, the longer stopping distance it has.
While tailgating, the rear driver does not have sufficient room to respond if the front driver brakes suddenly. Even if the rear driver stops slightly, they can still cause a rear-end accident.
Distracted driving, especially texting while driving, is a problem everywhere, and it leads to many rear-end accidents. Texting requires a driver to take their eyes, hands, and mind off the task of driving.
Other forms of distracted driving that can cause rear-end collisions include:
- Messing with the radio or GPS
- Talking to passengers
- Handling children or pets
A quick moment of distraction can cause a rear-end accident if the driver does not notice the car in front of them has stopped or slowed down.
Tailgating is an example of aggressive driving that often causes rear-end collisions. A driver might stay close behind another vehicle to communicate their frustration or try to force them into driving faster.
Here are some other forms of aggressive driving that can cause rear-end accidents:
- Running red lights
- Cutting off other drivers
- Weaving in and out of traffic lanes
- Merging quickly without signaling
- Blocking other drivers from changing lanes
Aggressive driving is a dangerous behavior that can quickly turn to road rage, which is even more severe. Rear-end accidents caused by aggressive driving also tend to be more severe and life-threatening.
A speeding driver is not prepared to stop or slow down suddenly if the flow of traffic changes. Rear-end accidents often happen because a driver is speeding and not paying attention.
Drunk driving often causes severe and fatal accidents. Sometimes, those accidents are rear-end collisions.
A driver under the influence of drugs or alcohol is not fit to drive in any sense, especially during heavy traffic. If the drunk driver makes one mistake because of their impairment, they can quickly and easily cause a rear-end accident.
Poor Weather Conditions
Sometimes, rear-end accidents happen because of poor road or weather conditions like:
- Uneven pavement
Motorists should be careful to drive slowly and leave plenty of distance between other drivers. If they don’t, they can cause rear-end accidents or worse.
If another driver rear-ended you, you have legal options. You might be entitled to financial compensation for your medical costs, lost wages, mental anguish, and more. To get matched with the best attorney for your needs during a FREE consultation, call (214) 305-8277 or fill out one of our online forms.
What to Do After a Rear-End Collision
After a rear-end accident that was not your fault, you can file a claim with the at-fault driver’s insurance company. The insurance company will look for ways to reduce what they have to pay you as a settlement. They might offer you a lowball settlement, hoping that you’ll take it and end your case.
We advise you never to accept the first offer or sign anything without speaking to a lawyer first. Besides consulting with an experienced lawyer, here are some other ways you can begin building your case and protecting your legal rights after a rear-end accident.
Call the Police
You should report any accident with injuries, deaths, or at least $1,000 in property damage to the police. This is important for your case because officers will create an accident report as proof that the crash occurred.
If you suspect the other driver was impaired or engaging in some other negligent behavior before your accident, tell the police about it.
Picture evidence is significant after a rear-end car accident. Someone might clean up the accident scene soon afterward, but pictures will forever preserve how everything looked.
Take pictures of:
- Any visible injuries you have from the accident
- Your vehicle damage from the accident
- The locations and positions of all involved vehicles
- The other driver’s vehicle and license plate
- Anything else that you think might help set the scene
Your lawyer can use these pictures to get a sense of what happened and help build your case.
As you wait for the police to arrive, exchange the following information with the other driver:
- First and last names
- Driver’s license numbers
- Phone numbers
- Physical addresses
- Insurance company names and policy numbers
You will need this information when you file a claim with the driver’s insurer.
Talk to Witnesses
If anyone else saw your rear-end collision happen, talk to them and ask what they saw. Ask if you can note the witnesses’ names and contact information. Your lawyer will want to contact these people later to get witness statements that support your case.
Save All Evidence of Your Damages
Your rear-end accident costs will probably include:
- Medical bills
- Missed wages
- Property damage
- Pain and suffering
Keep a folder with all documentation of your damages. You will need these documents to prove your economic damages in your insurance claim. Your lawyer can help you account for all of your losses, including non-economic injuries that are near-impossible to calculate without a legal professional.
Be Wary of the Insurance Company
Keep in mind that insurance companies are not on your side. Insurers are for-profit businesses that care most about their bottom line. If the other driver’s insurance company contacts you, avoid giving any statements or discussing fault or a settlement without a lawyer on your side.
Speak with a Rear-End Collision Lawyer for Free Today
If another driver rear-ended you and left you with injuries, you have legal options. Our Dallas car accident lawyers can match you with the best attorney for your needs, starting with a FREE, no-risk consultation. You will not owe any fees unless we win your case.
To get your FREE consultation today, call us at (214) 305-8277 or contact us online.