What Are Common Causes of Rear-End Accidents?

What Are Common Causes of Rear-End Accidents?

Abasi Major
March 25, 2023

Rear-end collisions are a type of motor vehicle accident when the front of one vehicle hits the back of another. While these types of crashes seem less dangerous than other types of car accidents, they make up quite a handful of car accidents in the U.S. that result in injuries and death. If you or someone you know has recently suffered a rear-end accident, contact a San Antonio, TX car accident lawyer.

Every year, around 1.75 million rear-end crashes take place, with 28% causing injuries and 5% resulting in fatalities. There are many reasons this can happen, but generally, they can be attributed to driver error, vehicle defects, and violation of traffic rules. Specifically, rear-end accidents occur due to the following causes.

Brake Failure and Tire Blowouts

Many rear-end accidents cannot completely be blamed on the drivers, but instead on malfunctioning auto parts. This is particularly true for defects that cause a driver to lose control of their vehicle, such as brake failure and tire blowouts.

In cases when a car defect causes a rear-end collision, the vehicle manufacturer can be held liable for damages and injuries resulting from the crash. 

Distracted Driving 

According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), the leading cause of rear-end accidents is inattentive or distracted driving, which accounts for 41% of rear-end collisions in the U.S. that are caused by driver error.

Texting, taking a call, or other visual distractions inhibit a driver from paying full attention to the road, which gives them less time to react to sudden stops or even gradual braking of the vehicle in front of them. 

Driver Error

Most car accidents are caused by driver error where a driver simply makes a mistake that causes them to collide with another vehicle. The most common occurrence is when a driver panics or gets distracted and accidentally hits the gas pedal instead of the brakes, sending them straight into a collision with the vehicle in front of them. 

Poor Road Conditions 

Poor road conditions, such as rainfall, snowfall, and bright sunlight, impede a driver’s visibility. They may not be able to see vehicles or obstacles ahead of them properly and therefore fail to stop on time. 

Similarly, slippery roads, potholes, etc. make it easy for a driver to lose control of their vehicle and end up colliding with other motorists. 

Speeding and Tailgating 

Speeding and tailgating (i.e. following the car in front too closely) are both aggressive driving behaviors that can easily cause rear-end collisions. These reduce the driver’s response time to stopping or slowing traffic and thereby increase the chance of a rear-end crash. 

One of the cardinal rules of driving is to follow vehicles at a safe distance, which is roughly 4 seconds, in order to allow the driver enough opportunity to react in case the vehicle in front of them hits the brakes abruptly. 

Traffic Law Violations 

Traffic rules exist precisely to prevent or at least minimize car crashes. Traffic violations such as disobeying a stop sign, running a red light, speeding, and failure to yield are very common causes of rear-end accidents. 

Work with a Car Accident Attorney After a Rear-End Accident 

Anyone involved in a rear-end accident, whether they were at fault or not, needs to work with a car accident attorney who can help them navigate the case, work with insurance companies, and if entitled, get the damages that they deserve. 

An experienced attorney is backed by the legal knowledge and skill sets needed to prove fault in a collision and help their clients get the most favorable results. From gathering evidence of the crash to negotiating a settlement, contact our lawyers to get full-service legal advice, assistance, and representation after a rear-end accident. 

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