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Why Do Rear-End Car Crashes Happen? 6 Key Causes Explained!

By  Dan McCrary | May 13, 2024

If you’re wondering what the main cause of a rear-end car crash is, you’ve come to the right place! A rear-end car accident can be quite dangerous to both the driver of the rear car and the front car. The passenger of the front car also faces serious injuries. 

These injuries include whiplash (neck injury), fractures, back injuries, or, in worse cases, brain injuries. In this type of situation, finding the reason behind the accident and who was at fault becomes a daunting task.

Without knowing the reason behind the rear-end car crash, you wouldn’t be able to file lawsuits. This is why it’s important to know the main cause of the accident, which driver was responsible for, and what the right action to take after an accident is. 

6 Main Causes of Rear-End Car Crash

Below are the six main causes of rear-end car crashes. With these causes, you can easily get an overall understanding of why the accident occurs.

1. Drunk Driving

Drunk driving is one of the most common reasons behind accidents. There are about 37 people who die every day in the United States due to drunk driving. It’s because alcohol affects decision-making abilities, blurs the vision, and reduces reaction time.

All of the side effects of alcohol increase the chances of an accident. The reduction in reaction time means the brain doesn’t process activities faster, affecting decision-making abilities and leading to accidents.

2. Distracted Driving 

Distracted driving is a term used for driving while involved in other activities. For example, using the mobile phone, talking to someone in the car, thinking about your office day, eating while driving, and so forth.

Any activity that can divert your attention from the road and the car to other things will be considered the reason for distracted driving. The lack of situational awareness prevents drivers from noticing the front car, resulting in dangerous rear-end car crashes

3. Overspeeding

Overspeeding is a significant factor behind car crashes. In 2022, about 29% of traffic fatalities happened because of overspeeding. High speed reduces reaction time, making it harder for the driver to respond to unexpected situations.

Besides that, a faster car requires more time and distance to come to a complete stop, increasing the likelihood of rear-end car crashes. This type of accident also results in severe injuries because of the great impact force of the car.

4. Driver Fatigue

Driving requires a healthy and mentally alert individual. Otherwise, the situation can be a lot worse. In the driving profession, an unfortunate situation not only puts the driver at risk but also the passengers and all the other cars on the road.

This is why recognizing driver fatigue is crucial. Fatigued drivers experience a loss of control over their bodies and cars; they can’t focus on the road and make decisions immediately like in case a car suddenly appears in front of them.

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5. Not Following Traffic Rules

Not following traffic rules is also a big reason behind rear-end car crashes. The rules are made to protect all drivers and their cars from dangerous collisions. However, most of the time, drivers neglect these safety rules.

For instance, one rule that causes rear-end car crashes is Tailgating. It’s a situation when the rear driver drives too close to the front car, resulting in an accident when the front car stops suddenly.

6. Mechanical Failure

Mechanical failures in cars, like faulty brakes, can cause major accidents. These mechanical problems aren’t limited to brakes but also include engine issues, tire problems, malfunctions in the car steering system, etc.

Regardless of the issue, it’s the driver’s responsibility to follow a maintenance schedule and ensure the vehicle is in proper working condition. Regular maintenance checks can prevent accidents caused by mechanical failures.

Who’s Responsible For The Damage of A Rear-End Car Crash?

You might be exempt from liability if you’ve followed all traffic rules, like maintaining a safe distance, driving at the right speed, and weren’t distracted or drunk. However, in most cases, the responsible driver is always the driver of the rear car, but there are some exceptions.

For example, you’re driving and have maintained a safe distance from the front car on the road. A third car driver saw that distance and came in front of your car, resulting in a rear-end car crash. In this case, the front car driver is responsible for the damage.

Another example is a car at the front malfunctions and stops working while you are going fine on the road and an accident occurs. Remember, these instances are rare, and generally, the responsibility falls on the rear car driver.

What Is The Right Action To Take In A Rear-End Collision?

Don’t panic! This is the first step you need to take after a rear-end collision. It might seem difficult, but trust us, panic only makes the situation worse. Then follow the steps below:

  • Check for injuries

Your health always comes first. So always check for injuries and see whether you can move your hands and legs. If you notice any serious injuries or drowsiness, seek medical help immediately.

  • Call the police

Once you’re sure there are no injuries and can communicate properly, call the police. The police will come and examine the car crash scene to create a detailed report.

  • Take pictures

Don’t just rely on police report evidence. Document the car crash with your mobile camera, take pictures, and record some videos. If possible, write every detail, like how the accident happened, in the notepad so you can share it with the insurer and car accident lawyer.

  • Share contact details

Lastly, share contact details with the other driver and ask for their phone number and email address as well. This will ensure both parties can contact each other to discuss the cost of damages.

Final Thoughts

The main cause of rear-end car crashes varies but, in general, there are six reasons. For instance, drunk driving, distracted driving, overspeeding, driver fatigue, not following traffic rules on the road, and mechanical failure in the car.

These reasons show who was at fault while driving. For example, if the front car driver wasn’t following traffic rules and was drunk, they have to bear the responsibility for the collision.

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    McCrary Accident Injury Law Firm specializes in personal injury litigation. Its founder, Dan McCrary, Esq., spent 14 years working for the insurance companies before switching sides to represent personal injury victims in Rocklin as an attorney.

    Dan McCrary’s years of experience on the defense side taught him exactly how to obtain maximum recovery for his injured clients. If you have been injured in an accident you should contact the Accident & Injury Lawyers, Personal injury Attorney, Car accident lawyers at McCrary Accident Injury Law Firm in Rocklin, folsom, Sacramento to get the money you deserve, and overcome the tactics routinely employed by the insurance companies.