Rear End accidents are probably the most frequent type of auto accident in the united states. These car wrecks can cost millions to insurance companies, and to victims injured in the incident. Rear end accidents generally are considered low impact car wrecks, however, as we all know low impact does not necessary mean no injury. Serious injuries could occur in rear end auto accidents as well. Medical treatment can range from just physical therapy to surgery, depending on the extent of your injuries and the severity of your rear end car accident.
Definition of a rear end car accident
Rear end accidents occur when one vehicle strikes another in the back. We would not say its considered a fender bender. We consider rear end car accidents much worse than fender benders. The most common injuries are whiplash. Whiplash can occur in rear end accidents when cars at moving less than 8 mph.
The severity and extent of your injury in a rear end car accident can be directly contributed by what hit you and how fast it was going. Higher speeds can cause more extensive injuries in rear end car accidents, such as being rear ended by a tractor trailer. Tractor trailers can weigh as much as 80,000 lbs, you car might only weigh 3500 lbs. The forces involved from being hit by a tractor trailer and a car are completely different.
Damage to car
Rear end car wrecks can result in little to no damage or a totaled car. This type of collision is the most common type of accident in the United States. Low speed impacts can still cause serious injuries. Whiplash can occur at collisions less than 10 mph. Millions of people each year are injured in rear end accidents. A read-end car accident generally causes more damage to the cervical spine than side or frontal collisions do.
Most common ways these accidents occur
- Drivers are on there cell phones
- Texting and driving
- Reaching for an object
- Arguments with passengers
- Looking for objects
- No situational awareness
The numbers are not in yet, but we suspect there a more crashes because of cell phone use, weather by texting or talking on the phone.
Injuries you can sustain in a rear end car accident
- Head Injuries
- Facial Injuries
- Brain Injuries
- Spinal Injuries
Car accidents can occur faster than you know. In some cases you may see or hear the wreck before it occurs, you may tense up or brace yourself for impact. Your muscles are tense when you are hit in the wreck. This action could cause your injury to be much worse than if you never saw or heard the accident occurring. Many of us have always heard the story of drunk drivers walking away from horrible car accidents. One of the reasons we believe this occurs is because the drunk driver has no idea that he will be involved in a wreck, and tends to walk away without any injury.
Whiplash is probably the most common injury of any rear end accident. It’s common because of the forces involved in the collision itself. When you are hit in the rear, your body momentum thrust you forward and then slams you into the back of your seat. This whipping motion could cause tendons, muscle tissue, and ligament to stretch or tear.
Some quick facts about whiplash
- Symptoms could last 6 months or longer
- Symptoms could appear weeks or even months after your collision
- It occurs more in women than men.
- Tends to be more severe with women
- Could require long term care
- Chronic pain years after
However, whiplash is not only caused by being hit in a rear end collision, it can be caused by other things as well such as sports, airplanes, and train crashes.
Injuries to your head can be caused by a number of different things. Your head can be impaled on the dash, windshield, or even the airbag. Older cars pose a greater risk to injuries to your head. Your head could hit the dash or steering wheel resulting in a concussion, or a closed type head injury such as internal bleeding.
Your face could hit the steering wheel or dash causing lacerations, bruising and broken teeth. Your face could also be burned by the airbag itself along with your arms and hands. It is not common to get a facial injury from getting hit in a rear end accident.
Rear end accidents can cause broken bones in your neck, spine, arms, fingers, and wrist. I had friend who was hit and the airbag deployed. She had her arm across the steering wheel. This in turn took her arm and shot it into her head, she broke her arm.
Brain injuries can result from your head getting trust around in the car and striking an object. This object might be the steering wheel, side rest, or dashboard. These types of injuries are dangerous and should be addressed by medical professionals. You could also suffer bruising on the brain and internal bleeding.
Wrist & Hand
Wrist and hand injuries after a rear end accident could be that you were aware the collision was going take place and braced for impact. You extended your arms and locked them in such a way that the rear end collision could have caused you to break them.This is also true for your legs and feet. You really pushed down on that brake pedal right before that rear end accident. It’s possible to fracture your foot or ankle.
Injuries from seat belts
Seat belts are mandatory in most states. Although they were designed to save your life, it is possible that they could also hurt you in the process. You could suffer injuries from seat belts in a rear end accident. Seat belts are designed to tighten and lock when they are moved very abruptly. When you body gets thrust forward, the seat belt does not move.
This can cause severe bruising to your stomach area. An improperly worn seat belt could even cost you your life in a rear end accident. I have seen some folks wear the shoulder portion behind their back; this should be avoided at all cost. The shoulder portion of the seat belt is designed to keep you from hitting the dash or steering wheel.
Injuries from airbags
I was once an investigator for a law firm. I have personally seen a young lady get hit, her airbag deployed. As it did so, it burned her face pretty bad. It is not common for airbags to go off when you are in a rear end accident, but they could deploy.
It has been proven you can be injured in a rear end accident at very slow speeds. There are a lot of dynamics that take place when two cars hit each other. If you are in a 6000 lb truck and strike a small compact car at low speed, you could be injured.
Headrest why are they there
Headrest can play an important role once you have been involved in a rear end auto accident. As your head gets trust forward, it comes back. If your headrest is improperly adjusted, this could cause more serious injuries to your neck and spine.
Why Determines the extent of your injury
Many factors can contribute to your injury. Weights of vehicles to the speed of one vrs the other can be the cause of a minor injury or a more major injury. Some things within your control can contribute less or more to your injury such as the location of your head rest or your seat position. Your headrest is an important piece of your seat, more so than people think. Proper adjustment of your headrest can either help you or hurt you. Some things are completely out of your control
Some other factors may be:
- Weight of vehicles involved
- Location of impact
Doctors that treat rear end car accident injuries
Common injuries after a rear end car accident may not show up right away such as, headaches or whiplash injuries. These types of conditions may take longer, days or even weeks to appear. It’s important to see a doctor right away after you have been involved in a rear end car accident. Seeing a accident doctor or a doctor that treats car wreck injuries should be one of the highest priorities after you have been involved in a car wreck. Doctors are there to help you navigate your way back after you have been injured in rear end car accident.