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Rear-End Car Accidents

One of the most shocking and traumatic types of car accidents is a rear-end collision because the occupants of the front vehicle usually don’t see the collision coming. Rear-end collisions are one of the top three most fatal types of car accidents, causing 3,400 fatalities in 2022 and amounting to 17.3% of total collisions. Rear-end collisions remain a significant cause of injuries on the nation’s roadways and almost always result from driver error, negligence, or recklessness.

What Are the Most Common Causes of Rear-End Accidents?

Rear-end collisions are sometimes called “tailgating accidents” because following another vehicle too closely—or tailgating—is the number one cause of this type of dangerous accident. According to the National Safety Council, drivers should maintain a three-second following distance behind a vehicle traveling in front of them. Drivers can judge this distance by noting a fixed object on the roadside and counting after the front vehicle passes the object. There should be at least a three-second delay before the second vehicle passes the same landmark.

The other common causes of rear-end collisions are distracted driving, slippery roadways, or the front driver braking suddenly. Less commonly, rear-end accidents result from defective brakes on the rear vehicle or broken or defective brake lights on the front vehicle. 

What Types of Injuries Commonly Result From Rear-End Accidents?

Drivers in both vehicles may suffer injuries in a rear-end collision, but the driver and passengers in the front vehicle don’t usually brace for impact, resulting in the most severe injuries as they’re thrust forward and then snapped back. Common injuries in rear-end accidents include whiplash, back injuries, head injuries, spinal cord injuries, and broken bones including ribs, hips, clavicles, and pelvic bones.

When a rear-end collision occurs at high speed, the motorists in the front may also experience internal organ damage as soft tissue is crushed by the force of moving forward and snapping back.

Whiplash resulting from the weight of the head snapping back and forth and causing over-extension of the neck is the most common rear-end accident injury.

Who Is at Fault in a Rear-End Collision?

The driver in the rear is almost always at fault in a rear-end collision. Whether the collision occurred because they were distracted by their cell phone, they were driving too fast for slippery road conditions, or they failed to leave enough space between their vehicle and the car in the front, the rear driver breached their duty of care to take reasonable measures to avoid causing injuries to others on the road.

In far fewer cases, the front driver could be at fault for a rear-end collision or could have contributed to the fault. For example, if they were driving without their lights on in dark conditions, had broken brake lights or tail lights, or they suddenly slammed on their brakes to avoid an animal or obstacle in the road. When a front driver “brake-checks” as an act of aggression or road rage against another driver, they are at fault for the accident and liable for damages.

Call an Experienced Georgia Rear-End Accident Lawyer

If you or a close family member suffered serious injuries as the victim of a rear-end collision, you can recover compensation for common damages. Seeking legal representation from an Atlanta car accident attorney can help you secure compensation for property damage to your vehicle, medical expenses, lost wages, and pain and suffering. If a loved one died in a rear-end accident in Georgia, a wrongful death claim could recover compensation for grieving family members.

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