Unfortunately rear-end collisions are a daily occurrence on congested roads and highways in the Augusta area. According to the National Highway Transportation Safety Administration (NHTSA), 33 percent of all accidents in 2012 were rear-end collisions that resulted in 1,827 fatalities and 518,000 injuries. While some people consider these accidents minor, they can be the opposite of that, causing victims to suffer chronic pain and limitations in their day-to-day activities.
Main Reasons Drivers Rear-End Other Motorists
The driver who hits another vehicle in the rear usually does so due to negligent driving and will almost always be found at fault. Common reasons these collisions occur include:
- Tailgating. Drivers are required to maintain a safe distance from the vehicle in front of them at all times. Tailgating is a form of dangerous aggressive driving that can easily cause a rear-end collision if the driver in front must slow or stop suddenly.
- Distracted driving. Eating and drinking, using a cellphone, and adjusting instrument controls are common causes of many accidents, including rear-end collisions. When a driver is concentrating on something other than driving, he cannot react quickly enough to avoid rear-ending someone.
- Intoxicated driving. If drivers are intoxicated due to consumption of drugs or alcohol, their reaction times are slowed and their driving abilities are impaired, making it impossible to react quickly enough to avoid causing a crash.
- Weather conditions. Bad weather—such as snow, ice, heavy rain, or fog—can make visibility poor and roads slippery. If a driver is not extra cautious, he can lose control of his vehicle and slide into the one in front of him.
- Fatigue. When drivers are drowsy, they are less attentive to vehicles around them—including the one in front of them. Even more dangerous, they could fall asleep while driving and in even a few seconds cause a rear-end crash.
- Speeding. Trying to speed through a yellow light can cause a driver to be too focused on his goal of getting through the light before it turns red rather than the driver in front of him.
Rear-End Collisions Can Cause Many Serious Injuries
People often have the mistaken impression that rear-end collisions cannot cause serious injuries. But even a “minor” low-impact collision can result in the injured victim becoming permanently disabled. Initially, the injured person may not even experience any symptoms for days or months after the accident. However, it is critical to obtain prompt medical attention to document the injuries and to spot these potential injuries before they develop into more serious or even life-threatening ones. Common injuries people suffer in rear-end collisions include:
- Traumatic brain injury and other head injuries
- Neck and back injuries
- Spinal cord injuries
- Broken and crushed bones
- Internal bleeding
- Internal organ damage
- Fractured facial bones and jawbone
Is the Driver in the Rear Always Liable?
While the driver who hits another vehicle is often presumed to be the negligent party, this is not always true. In some instances the motorist who was hit caused or was partially negligent in causing the crash. Situations where this could come into play include:
- The driver in front reverses suddenly.
- The driver in front stops suddenly to make a turn—maybe without using his turn signal—but fails to actually turn.
- The brake lights do not work on the vehicle that is rear-ended.
- The driver in front has a flat tire or other serious vehicle malfunction but does not put on his hazard lights before he can pull over.
Let Christopher J. Hudson Help
Even if the liability of the driver who rear-ended you is clear, you should not expect his insurance company to fail to put up a fight to your claim for compensation. You need an experienced car accident attorney who understands insurance adjusters’ tactics and has strategies to defeat them. He will also have a better understanding of how much compensation you are entitled to for your medical bills, lost wages, and physical and emotional trauma. Call Christopher Hudson today at 706-863-6600 or toll free at 888-795-6261 to schedule a free, no-obligation evaluation of your case.