What Causes Most Rear-End Accidents?

Published on Dec 23, 2022 at 8:37 pm in Car Accidents.

What Causes Most Rear-End Accidents
We hear a lot of complex legal questions as car accident attorneys in Lexington, KY. But to the question “What causes most rear-end accidents?”, the answer is simple: human error.

Almost every rear-end collision in Kentucky could have been prevented if drivers were more attentive.

Rear-end accidents happen when two vehicles are traveling in the same direction and the following car slams into the back of the leading car. There are many reasons this type of accident occurs. Typically, it happens when the driver in the leading car hits the brakes—but the driver in the following car doesn’t.

Let’s take a look at what causes most rear-end accidents. If you have questions following an auto collision in Lexington, please reach out to Peterson Law Office to discuss your case. You’ll have the opportunity to sit down with a car accident lawyer from our law firm for a free, no-obligation conversation. We’ll be able to analyze the details of your case and advise you of your best legal options for recovery.

Top Causes of Rear-End Collisions

There are over a million rear-end accidents annually in the United States. We’ll examine rear-end crash statistics in more depth below. But what causes most of these rear-end accidents?

Distraction is a major cause of this type of motor vehicle crash. When a driver is looking at the cell phone in their hand instead of the road ahead, they won’t see the car brake abruptly in front of them.

Following too closely also puts motorists at a major disadvantage. Tailgating is a common behavior, but it is a risky one. The less space you leave between you and the car in front of you, the less time you’ll have to react.

The following list gives some of the most common factors and causes of rear-end accidents:

  • Following too closely
  • Deliberately tailgating another vehicle out of aggression
  • Speeding
  • Cell phone use
  • Distracted driving
  • Reckless driving
  • Drunk driving
  • Inadequate use of vehicle lights
  • Poor brake maintenance
  • Following closely in conditions of low visibility or on slippery road surfaces

How Often Do Rear-End Accidents Happen?

Rear-end accidents are the most common type of vehicle vs. vehicle collision by numbers. Roughly 28% of all crashes in 2020 were categorized as rear-end collisions, according to National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) data. This type of crash is even more common than sideswipes, T-bones, head-on collisions, and crashes that happen at an angle.

In the year 2020 alone, there were:

  • 1,457,155 rear-end accidents
  • 1,037,665 rear-end crashes resulting in property damage
  • 417,062 rear-end crashes resulting in injuries to one or more person
  • 2,428 rear-end crashes that killed at least one person

These numbers are astounding. One and a half million rear-end collisions a year is simply not an acceptable reality.

At Peterson Law Office, we commit a large portion of our practice to fighting the epidemic of motorist negligence endangering the lives of our friends, family, and neighbors in Lexington. Our car accident attorneys work tirelessly to make our roads and highways safer for all to use. We also encourage all Kentucky drivers to keep themselves educated on the best ways to practice safe driving.

What Can I Do To Prevent Rear-End Accidents?

One of the best ways to prevent rear-end collisions is to make sure you are never the cause of one. You can do this by:

  • Never driving intoxicated,
  • Never texting or using your cell phone behind the wheel,
  • Staying alert and attentive at all times, and
  • Maintaining a safe distance between vehicles.

Maintaining a safe distance between you and the car in front of you means following the “three second rule.” Count at least three seconds between the time the leading car passes a fixed object and the time you reach it. You will probably be surprised how much distance three seconds actually is.

If there are any conditions that affect stopping distance or visibility—such as darkness, fog, heavy traffic, or wet or icy road surfaces—you may need to increase your following distance to four or five seconds.

It’s also important not to let the dangerous behaviors of another motorist intimidate or anger you. If another car is tailgating you, refrain from retaliating by brake checking (intentionally slamming on the brakes), speeding, or acting aggressively. Instead, keep to a safe driving speed and allow the other car to pass you. If you need to pull over to let them pass, do so. You may need to call the police to report a driver who is acting especially recklessly or aggressively.

Get Help After a Lexington Rear-End Collision

Were you injured in a Lexington rear-end collision? If so, you are not the only one. The high incidence rate of this type of accident means many people throughout Kentucky, and the U.S. are involved in rear-end crashes every day.

We help clients recover the damages they suffer through the negligence of another person. After a motor vehicle crash, your damages may extend to medical bills, lost wages from missed work hours, property damage to your vehicle and valuables, pain and suffering, and emotional trauma.

The car accident attorneys at Peterson Law Office take all these factors into account when we calculate the amount of compensation you should receive. How much financial compensation you can obtain through your car accident claim depends in part on the expertise of your lawyer. If your legal representative doesn’t have the skill and experience to consider all damages, both economic and non-economic, you will miss out on much-needed financial aid to cover your losses.

Don’t wait to look into your legal options after a rear-end accident. Kentucky has a strict statute of limitations for personal injury cases like motor vehicle collisions. Begin by scheduling your free case evaluation at Peterson Law Office. There is no obligation to continue working with our law firm after an initial consultation.

Request a Free Consultation

If you have any questions about a potential personal injury claim, call us or fill out the form below to schedule a free, confidential case consultation. We’ll help you determine what steps you should take next.

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