Nearly 40% of all car accidents are rear-end auto accidents. Moreover, National Highway Traffic Safety Board estimates that 2 1/2 million rear-end auto accidents occur in the United States each year.

Traffic congestion has exacerbated the problem of rear-end auto accidents. Furthermore, cell phones have also proven a significant factor in many rear-end auto accidents across the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania.

Causes of Rear-End Auto Accidents

Common causes of rear-end auto accidents include:

  • distracted driving
  • failure to maintain an assured clear distance
  • heavy traffic conditions and tailgating
  • poor weather
  • fatigued driving
  • drunk driving

Common Injuries from Rear-End Auto Accidents

Neck Injury

A neck injury is the most common injury one suffers when involved in a rear-end auto accident. This is typically because the impact forces the head and neck forward and then backward. The whipping of the head and neck can damage the tissues holding the spine in place, or it can result in a more severe injury such as a herniated disc.

Generally, the extent of a neck injury is not immediately known after the accident. For example, at the emergency room, X-rays or CAT scans are obtained.  Unfortunately, X-rays and CAT Scans almost always come back as normal.

Most of the neck injuries from car accidents are known as soft tissue injuries where the muscles and tissues are damaged.

The more serious disc issues are usually not diagnosed immediately but are discovered only upon obtaining a test such as an MRI. Doctors and hospitals are reluctant to order these more expensive tests unless the symptoms do not start to abate after a few weeks or even months.

Fractures

Car accidents that happen at high speeds can lead to fractures of various parts of the body. The most common car wreck fractures are:

  • hands and feet
  • spinal cord
  • ribs
  • skull

Head Injury

Closed head injuries often happen after a rear-end auto accident. A closed head injury can be a severe and even fatal condition, and anyone suspecting a head injury should seek immediate medical attention.

Indications of a closed head injury includes:

  • headaches
  • loss of consciousness
  • dizziness or unsteadiness
  • nausea or vomitting 
  • memory lapse
  • speech issues
  • changes in personality

Steps to Take if You are in a Rear-End Auto Accident

  1. First, call the police to report the crash.
  2. Secondly, take photographs of the vehicles in their resting positions.
  3. Next, obtain the contact information of any witnesses to the accident.
  4. Lastly, and most importantly, seek medical attention for injury in an accident

Contact JPPLAW for a free consultation and case evaluation.