Common Causes and Injuries in Rear – End Accidents

Common Causes and Injuries in Rear - End Accidents

It is estimated there are about 2.5 million car accidents a year in the United States. Almost 40%of these are rear-end car wrecks according to the National Highway Traffic Safety Board

As drivers in San Diego, we can all testify to the amount of traffic. Variables such as weather and aggressive or distracted drivers only add to the problem of rear-end car accidents. Many times, people are quick to admit they were looking at their phone or changing the radio and just“didn’t see you.”

What are common causes of a rear-end car wreck?

The main cause is a distracted driver not paying close enough attention to the road. Common causes include:

  • Distracted driving such as talking on the phone, changing the radio, etc.
  • Failure to maintain a proper distance
  • Heavy traffic conditions
  • Poor weather
  • Fatigue
  • Drunk driving

What are common injuries in a rear-end car collision?

Neck Injury

Injuring your neck is the most common type of injury suffered in a rear-end accident. Due to the impact, the head and neck are forced forward and backward in the fraction of a second. This quick whipping movement can damage the tissues holding the spine in place. If the impact is severe enough, or if there is an existing condition, a more severe injury can occur like a herniated disc.

The extent of neck injuries aren’t always known immediately after the wreck. If you’re taken to the ER after a crash, unless it is very serious, only x-rays will be obtained. X-rays are used to determine if there is a fracture. But most neck injuries in car accidents are soft tissue injuries to the muscles or ligaments. These don’t show up on an x-ray. Rehabilitation is typically done by seeing a physical therapist, chiropractor, massage therapist, and acupuncturist or some combination thereof.

If the disc injury is serious like a bulge or herniation, then it will likely not be confirmed until a CT Scan or MRI is conducted. Rehabilitation for this injury may include the above-mentioned treatment in addition to other specialists depending on how serious it is. If the injury is serious enough, surgery may be required.


High speed collisions may also cause fractures in the body at various places. If the difference in speed at impact is high, the chances of something being broken also increases. The most fractures that occur in car accidents are:

  • Hands and feet
  • Spinal cord
  • Ribs
  • Skull

Head Injury

Head injuries can be severe and fatal. It’s possible that even if a head injury was sustained, the car accident victim may not know about it. Aside from the adrenaline masking injuries, we also simply don’t like to believe we’re as injured as we are. And therefore, we tell ourselves we aren’t. This is just one of many reasons we tell people to seek immediate medical care after an accident.

Symptoms of a head injury after an accident include:

  • Headaches
  • In and out of consciousness
  • Dizziness
  • Loss of memory
  • Trouble with speech
  • Changes in personality

If these symptoms persist and you’ve already seen a primary physician, you will likely need to be seen by a neurologist.

What to do if You’re in a Rear-End Accident

  1. Call 911. If people are injured, request an ambulance.
  2. Take pictures of the scene and the cars with your phone.
  3. Use your phone to take pictures of insurance information, driver’s licenses, registration, and possible video statements of witnesses, if possible.
  4. Contact your own insurance company to let them know about the accident (only give them facts, don’t place blame or say anything that may lead them to think you were at fault)
  5. Contact a San Diego Car Accident Lawyer for a free consultation or evaluation of your case. Most personal injury attorneys will do this at no cost to you.

My name is Daniel Hanecak and I am a San Diego Car Accident Lawyer. I know from personal experience how stressful and time consuming a car accident can be. When you call Hanecak Law Inc., you will speak with me directly. It is my aim to provide you with free and friendly advice. Call me today at (858) 206-4DAN  for a free case evaluation.

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