Of the 128,188 reported accidents in Pennsylvania in 2017, almost 29,000 of those were rear end accidents. When many people think of rear end collisions they think of drivers exchanging information and getting back to their day in vehicles that may need a little bumper repair. They imagine things like maybe a little neck pain and a decision about whether or not to call the police or go through insurance to pay for the property damage. Sometimes those really are all of the issues that are involved in a rear end accident, but sometimes there is much more.
Unfortunately, not all rear-end collisions are simple and easy to recover from. If you or a loved one has been involved in a serious rear end collision, you understand that the damages and injuries can be severe, even deadly. In 2017, 81 people were killed in rear end collisions in Pennsylvania. Family members and loved ones of 81 people were left devastated by rear end collisions.
There are some common causes of rear end accidents and many of them could be avoided if drivers were more careful and cautious. See below for some of those common causes:
Distracted driving – Cell phone distractions such as phone calls, texting, emailing, social media use, playing games, and watching videos are often involved in distracted driving accidents.
Sudden stops – Sudden and unexpected stops are a regular culprit in rear end collisions for different reasons such breaking to avoid an unforeseen obstruction.
Tailgating – Following too close to a vehicle gives a driver no room to appropriately react and control his or her vehicle when the driver in front of him or her makes an unexpected stop.
Weather conditions – Weather conditions like ice and snow can cause slippery roads which makes stopping difficult.
Speed – The faster a car is moving, the longer it takes to stop which is why speed is often a factor in rear end collisions.
Alcohol or drug impairment – Impaired drivers lack coordination and focus rear-end and they are often unable to react quickly enough when they need to slow or stop behind the vehicle in front of them.
A common question in rear-end cases is: Isn’t the second driver always at fault in a rear end accident? The answer to that is no; often the second driver is at fault, but not always, especially in a state like Pennsylvania where fault is apportioned and allocated to parties involved in the accident. Perhaps you were a percentage at fault because you were following a little too close, but the other driver was texting and as a result, did not see the pedestrian in the crosswalk before he had to slam on his brakes to avoid injuring the pedestrian. If your injuries and damages were $50,000 and you were assigned 20% fault, you would be able to collect $40,000 ($50,000 minus 20% for your fault).