There are few things worse than moving along in traffic that comes to a sudden halt. As you quickly brake, giving yourself plenty of room between yourself and the car ahead, you keep one eye in your rearview mirror. Is that driver paying attention and slowing as well, or will you be rear-ended due to distractions or other issues that made you a target for a collision through no fault of your own? If you are the victim of a rear-end collision. Seeking the counsel of a Jackson personal injury attorney may be a smart move.
Facts about these Crashes
Rear-end collisions are all too common across the country, topping 1.7 million every single year. They are, in fact, the most common type of accident that occurs on roadways throughout the nation, making up roughly one-third of all vehicle collisions. In addition to property damage, half a million people suffer injuries, and thousands are killed in these often-preventable accidents.
It’s no surprise that distractions are a key factor in many rear-end incidents. Research indicates that the most common issues include the following:
- Eating and drinking;
- Cell phone use;
- Passenger distractions.
Following too Close
For the most part, rear-end collisions are not the result of following too closely, although in some instances it certainly is a problem. Experts suggest allowing at least one car length for every 10 miles per hour of speed.
Research indicates that the majority of near-crashes and rear-end collisions –more than six in ten–occur at slower speeds, and at non-junctions. Straight roadways with heavier traffic tend to catch more drivers by surprise than roadways with multiple stops.
More than 80 percent of these crashes involve a front vehicle that is completely stopped, while just about 20 percent occurred with front vehicles that were in the process of braking. The implication is that rear-signaling systems that extinguish following a complete stop may be part of the reason that rear-end collisions occur.
In just 10 percent of cases studied, drivers attempted to steer clear of the forward driver prior to the crash, although most drivers did brake in the moments preceding the collision. Even so, almost half of drivers neither steered away nor braked prior to the event, indicating the collision was a total surprise to following drivers.
Motor vehicle accidents are often accompanied by emotional trauma, in addition to physical injuries such as broken bones and abrasions. One of the most common injuries associated with rear-end collisions is whiplash. Sometimes it takes days, weeks, or months for symptoms to show up, or for them to go away, Symptoms may include headache, aching shoulders or neck, pain or numbness in the back or abdomen, and even personality changes due to a concussion. These are all serious issues and need to be addressed by a medical professional.
After a Rear-end Collision
If you’ve been rear-ended, it was likely no fault of your own. If the collision resulted in significant personal injuries, the heavy hitting team at the office of Derek L. Hall, PC will go to bat for you. Contact our Jackson office today for a free, confidential consultation.