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Rear-end collisions are the most common type of car accident, and they can occur at any time. These accidents are more serious than most people suspect; while injuries may not be immediately evident, many drivers and passengers ultimately develop chronic conditions that leave them in pain for months or even years.
Sometimes, weather conditions conspire to make rear-end accidents more likely, but oftentimes, negligence behind the wheel is entirely to blame. Here are the most common causes of rear-end collisions:
Many people are guilty of tailgating at one point or another. When people are in a hurry, they don’t just speed; they want fellow drivers to speed along with them so that they can reach their destination just a bit more quickly. This behavior isn’t just aggressive — it can be extremely dangerous. If the driver in front is forced to come to a quick stop, the tailgating individual may not be able to respond quickly enough to avoid a rear-end collision.
Research from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) indicates that speeding accounted for over a quarter of roadway fatalities in 2017. While rear-end collisions are not typically fatal, they commonly involve cars traveling well above the posted speed limit.
Speeding doesn’t always relate to the posted limit; drivers also risk rear-end collisions when they fail to take dangerous road conditions into account. Drivers who easily avoid collisions while traveling on clear stretches of road may struggle when snow, ice, or rain are involved — especially if they neglect to adjust their speed accordingly.
3. Distracted Driving
Everybody knows that texting or applying makeup behind the wheel is a bad idea, and yet, these and other sources of distraction remain alarmingly common on Abilene roads. Every second a driver’s eyes leave the road, his or her car could travel hundreds of feet. This could prove perilous if another vehicle comes to a sudden stop or some other unexpected hazard arises. In these cases, a rear-end collision is unfortunately likely.
Research suggests that sleep deprivation can be nearly as dangerous as intoxication behind the wheel since drowsy drivers are notoriously slow to respond to road hazards. This problem is more prevalent than most suspect; the AAA Foundation for Traffic Safety estimates that drowsy driving causes an annual 328,000 crashes. Of these crashes, several are rear-end collisions.
5. Driving Under the Influence
A lot of drivers think they’re far more capable of safely navigating roads after drinking than they actually are. It doesn’t take a lot of alcohol to interfere with judgment or reaction time; just a drink or two can quickly compromise otherwise competent drivers. Drugs are just as dangerous – those under the influence of cannabis face similar issues with reaction time as those who drive drunk. Other drugs may prove even more dangerous, prompting aggressive driving behaviors (such as tailgating) or even hallucinations.
While heavy traffic is rarely the direct cause of a rear-end collision, it makes such accidents far more likely. The unpredictable nature of stop-and-go road conditions leaves drivers more vulnerable to crashes, even at low speeds. Traffic has a way of exacerbating the risks associated with all of the behaviors outlined above. Drowsy or distracted drivers, for example, might be able to get by when few other vehicles are present, but they may struggle to cope with traffic.
Every driver holds the responsibility and legal obligation to follow the rules of the road. Those who break these rules risk being involved in rear-end collisions, which can cause the driver ahead of them to experience years of suffering. A little more patience and attention to the road can make Abilene roads safer for all drivers.
If you were the victim of a rear-end collision, you deserve compensation for your damages. Look to the trusted team at Hernandez Law Group for assistance every step of the way. Board certified in personal injury law (unlike 98% of Texas lawyers), Juan Hernandez has an impressive track record with car accident cases. Reach out today to learn more.