Did you know that rear-end collisions are the most common kind of car accident? According to the data collected by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), about 29 percent of car accidents nationwide are rear-end crashes.
You might think that weather conditions or construction areas or faulty traffic signals or twisty roads or darkness account for the majority of these rear-end collisions. But you would be wrong.
The fact is most rear-end accidents occur in normal—even excellent—driving conditions. Let’s take a look at some facts the NHTSA-commissioned study discovered.
We’re Being Upfront About Rear-End Collisions
Here’s something that might surprise you: the majority of rear-end collisions happen during the day on straight, dry, and level roads.
Think about that. The most common kind of car accident takes place while the sun is out and the road simple to navigate.
So, what does cause all of those rear-end collisions? Well, most occur due to driver error or distraction. And the driver most likely to be responsible is the driver in the trailing car. Here are some more facts revealed by the study:
- Around 81 percent of rear-end collisions happened while the lead vehicle was completely stopped. In most cases, the trailing car was following too closely.
- Distracted driving was found to be the cause of around 90 percent of rear-end collisions. Various kinds of distractions caused problems including eating while driving, conversing with a passenger, using a cell phone (to call or to text), or simply daydreaming rather than concentrating on the task at hand.
The Injuries Can Be Severe
A rear-end collision can result in a variety of serious injuries for the driver of the lead car. When your car is struck from behind, a significant amount of force tosses your body forward. Your seatbelt or airbag may jerk you back suddenly.
These forces can lead to injuries in the neck and back—even if the car itself does not sustain much damage. In the most extreme cases, a rear-end collision may lead to spinal cord injuries or traumatic brain injuries. Those sorts of injuries can have a long term or permanent impact on your day to day life, your ability to work, and your ability to enjoy activities that are important to you.
If you are injured in a rear-end collision, getting medical attention should, of course, be your first priority. The next thing on your priority list should be having a conversation with an attorney.
Why You Need an Attorney After an Accident
There is a good chance that an insurance company will offer you a quick settlement—and the company may make this offer before the full extent of your injuries and the damage to your vehicle have been determined.
Why do they do this? They want to pay you a small amount right away in the hope that they won’t have to pay you a larger amount later. Don’t fall for this tactic.
Instead, have a conversation with a personal injury attorney who will collect all the facts and then work to ensure you receive the full compensation to which you are entitled.
You may be thinking that having a lawyer sounds good in principle, but would be way too expensive. Wouldn’t it be better to take the smaller settlement and save the high cost of legal representation?
Actually, no. Here’s why:
Personal injury lawyers work on a contingency basis. That means you don’t pay unless you win your case. If you do win, the lawyer’s fee comes out of the award. So it is nearly always to your advantage to have a personal injury attorney on your side after you have been hurt in a car accident.
SJ Injury Attorneys Can Help
Injuries sustained in a car accident can have a serious and ongoing impact on your life. That is why it is so important to have a lawyer who is working to ensure you are properly compensated after a collision. The lawyers of SJ Injury Attorneys have the experience and expertise to ensure you are treated fairly. Contact us today for a free consultation.