Rear End Collisions – What you need to know

Recently, a rear-end collision involving seven people sent one person to the Chandler Regional hospital near North John Wayne Parkway and West Smith-Enke Road in Maricopa.

There were seven people involved in the accident; four of them were children in car seats.  The driver of the car that rear-ended the first vehicle was sent to the Maricopa Medical Center. The driver was failing to pay attention to driving conditions, namely the slowing of traffic.
There were no other serious injuries got report and no road closures in the area.
Reports of rear-end collisions in Chandler, Mesa, Tempe and Gilbert occur all too frequently.

What Is a Rear End Collision?

A rear-end collision is a traffic accident wherein a vehicle, usually an automobile or a truck, crashes into the vehicle in front of it. Common factors that contribute to rear-end collisions include:

  • Driver inattention or distraction
  • Tailgating
  • Panic stops
  • Reduced traction due to weather or worn pavement

It may also be a trucking accident wherein a commercial truck runs into the rear of a vehicle.

Typical scenarios for rear-ends are a sudden deceleration by the first car, typically for traffic conditions, so that the following car does not have the time to brake and collides with the first. Alternatively the following car may accelerate more rapidly than the leading (for example, leaving an intersection) resulting in a collision.

Who Is At Fault?

As a rule of thumb, if the two vehicles have similar physical structure, crashing into another car is equivalent to crashing into a rigid surface (like a wall) at half of the closing speed. This means that rear-ending a stationary car while travelling at 50 km/h (30 mph) is equivalent, in terms of deceleration, to crashing into a wall at 25 km/h (15 mph). The same is true for the vehicle crashed into.

However if one of the vehicles is significantly more rigid (e.g. the rear of a truck) then the deceleration is more typically reflected by the full closing speed for the less rigid vehicle.
A typical medical consequence of rear-ends, even in case of collisions at moderate speed, is whiplash. In more severe cases permanent injuries, e.g. herniation, may occur. The rearmost passengers in minivans benefit little from the short rear crumple zone, so they are more likely to injure or kill in a rear-end collision.

Who Is Responsible?

For purposes of insurance and policing, the driver of the car that rear-ends the other car is almost always considered to be at fault due to not leaving enough stopping distance or lack of attention. According to data reported by the NHTSA, the percentage of rear end accidents to all crashes is between 23%-30%.[1]

Bodily Injuries – Why Does My Neck Hurt So Much?

In stop-and-go commuter traffic, you’re more likely to get in a rear-end collision than any other crash type. Head restraints in most of the vehicles driven on the road today; like sport utility vehicles, pickup trucks and minivans provide poor or marginal protection from neck injuries. The resulting injury is whiplash, a cervical strain to your neck and spine.
The Insurance Institute for Highway Safety said the simulated rear crashes at 20 miles per hour showed that many large vehicles fall short in protecting against neck injuries, which lead to 2 million insurance claims a year, costing at least $8.5 billion. The costs are for medical treatment; time taken from work by the victim and the pain and suffering as a result of a rear-end collision.

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