Many people think rear-end collisions amount to nothing more than nuisances. The fact is, however, that these collisions are often very dangerous. Not all rear-end collisions are created equal, and while a fender bender is not generally a major concern, other rear-end collisions – even at relatively low speeds – can be devastating.
Rear-End Collisions: The Statistics
Far from being simply nuisance accidents, rear-end collisions can be fatal accidents, and they are closely related to distracted driving. The National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) reports startling statistics related to the severity of rear-end collisions:
In the years from 2012 to 2014, almost half of all collisions involving 2 cars were rear-end collisions that resulted in more than 1,700 traffic deaths each year.
87 percent of drivers involved in rear-end collisions were not paying enough attention to traffic at the time of their accidents (in other words, driver distraction plays a significant role).
Driving under the Influence of Distraction
Driving is an immense responsibility that requires one’s complete attention. When a driver allows his or her attention to wander, that driver endangers everyone with whom he or she is sharing the road. As smartphones become more of a personal attachment, many drivers lose sight of just how dangerous interacting with these handheld electronic devices can be when behind the wheel. Distracted driving is on the rise, and it leaves all of us more vulnerable to serious rear-end collisions (and other dangerous accidents).
Injuries Associated with Rear-End Accidents
A rear-end collision can lead to a vast array of injuries, but there are certain kinds of injuries that are most closely associated, including:
Knee, Leg, and Ankle Injuries – The immense impact of rear-end collisions forces the front vehicle’s occupants forward, which often causes knee, leg, and/or ankle injuries. These injuries are not only extremely painful but are also complicated (due to joint complexities), slow to heal, and prone to future complications.
Neck Injuries – Rear-end accidents often lead to neck injuries, such as whiplash. These injuries are caused when the head is whipped back and forth on the neck – much like the cracking of a whip. Whiplash is a soft-tissue injury that may not present at the time of the accident, which makes it that much more difficult to diagnose and treat. Neck injuries are painful, slow healing, and can seriously limit one’s range of motion.
Facial Lacerations – The forward impact of a rear-end collision can lead to painful facial lacerations that are prone to dangerous infections and can lead to disfigurement.