Common Causes of Auto Accidents: Injuries from Rear-end Collisions
Delaware injury attorneys fighting for the rights if the injured in and around Wilmington, Seaford, and Newark
The leading cause of motor vehicle crashes is far and away some form of driver error; the majority of rear-end crashes are caused by driver inattention. Rear-end crashes accounted for more than 1.7 million accidents in 2012, which resulted in more than 1,700 fatalities and 500,000 injuries according to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA). The sheer number of injuries and death that can result from just a few seconds of inattention is quite staggering. National traffic safety agencies, auto makers and insurance companies have been studying the problem of the prevalence of rear-end crashes in this country and they are looking to technology to mitigate the problem. In the near future, all new cars will include automatic emergency braking systems that will take over when the driver is not paying attention, engage the brakes and stop the car.
At the Delaware injury law firm of Silverman, McDonald & Friedman, we bring more than 100 years of combined legal experience to the task of fighting for fair compensation for your injuries when you have been involved in a rear-end auto accident.
Causes of rear-end crashes
Driver inattention is the leading cause of getting hit from behind in an auto accident, but there are a few factors that might also contribute to the driver’s inattention:
- Distractions inside of the car such as dialing a mobile phone or typing a text message, eating or drinking, personal grooming, or even attending to children or other passengers in the vehicle. Distractions outside of the car such as an accident up ahead, road construction projects and other things going on outside of the vehicle can distract the driver’s attention from the task of driving.
- Drunk driving, which impairs the driver’s reaction time is another frequent cause of rear-end crashes.
- Tailgating, because when the car in front of you stops unexpectedly, you can end up crashing into the back end. The recommended traveling distance of at least one car length for every ten miles-per-hour you were traveling can help prevent these types of accidents.
- Bad weather such as rain, fog and snow, or even bright sun glare can obscure your view of what is in front of you, and before you know it you have smashed into the back of the car in front of you due to limited visibility.
- Pedestrians and animals crossing the road unexpectedly, a child darting out into the street to chase a ball or another child, a deer ambling out onto the road in front of you causing you to swerve and crash into another car.
- Non-working brake lights can be quite hazardous because if you do not know that the car up ahead has come to a complete stop, you will not have enough time to stop and avoid hitting them.
Common injuries caused by rear-end collisions
The nature and magnitude of the injuries that people suffer in a car crash are largely determined by the rate of speed at which the vehicles were traveling at the time of impact. So, it follows that the higher the rate of speed the more significant the resulting crash and injuries. Some examples of injuries from rear-end crashes include:
- Neck injuries, such as “whiplash” or cracked vertebrae
- Cuts, lacerations, bruises
- Spinal cord injuries
- Traumatic brain injury
- Broken bones
Establishing fault in rear-end crashes
In the vast majority of circumstances, the driver of the vehicle in the rear is going to be at fault in a rear end crash, however there are some circumstances where the driver of the forward vehicle caused the accident. For example, if a car is traveling along a roadway and then suddenly slams on their brakes, they may be held to some of the fault in the accident as the driver of the rear car may have been traveling too closely to be able to brake in time to avoid a crash. Also, if the forward car is driving erratically and making unpredictable movements in and out of traffic, they could also share some of the fault in a crash. In circumstances where poor visibility, such as in dense fog or a snowstorm, it might have been impossible for the rear driver to avoid the collision.
This is where the services of an experienced Delaware auto accident attorney are the most useful. At the law firm of Silverman, McDonald & Friedman, we have more than 100 years of combined legal experience that we put to work on your behalf. We thoroughly investigate the accident and decide about which party is at fault and if there might be any shared fault in the accident. We fight for your right to the best compensation possible for your injuries and property damage from an accident that was caused by the negligent behavior of another driver.
Contact our trusted auto accident attorneys today to schedule a free consultation
The legal team at Silverman, McDonald & Friedman is proud to represent those who have been injured in an auto accident. We take the time to investigate your accident and fight for justice on your behalf. You are welcome to schedule a free consultation with one of our auto accident attorneys today when you call us at 302-888-2900 or fill out our contact form. We serve clients throughout Delaware from our offices in Newark, Wilmington and Seaford.