Rear-end collisions are some of the most common on the roadways today. According to the National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB), rear-end crashes accounted for almost half of all two-vehicle crashes in 2012.
Though many people think of a rear-end crash as a minor traffic accident, there have been many instances in which this type of accident has had devastating results. One NTSB report investigated nine rear-end crashes which together resulted in 28 fatalities and 90 injuries. That’s just one reason why it’s important to learn more about these potentially dangerous crashes.
Why Are Rear-End Collisions So Common?
There are many reasons why one driver fails to slow or stop appropriately and crashes into the car in front of them. Many common driving issues result in rear-end collisions, including:
- Distracted driving. When a driver takes his eyes off the road to check a text message, change the radio station, or chat with a passenger, he may not see that the vehicle in front of him has stopped or slowed.
- Speeding. A driver who is traveling too fast may not have enough time to slow his vehicle when the traffic slows or stops suddenly.
- Tailgating. Tailgating, or following the leading car too closely, does not allow a driver enough room to stop when the lead car slows or stops.
- Poor weather or road conditions. When traveling in rain and snow or on roads that are not well maintained, it can be difficult to stop a vehicle in time to avoid a collision. Drivers should respond to the weather and road conditions by leaving adequate space between themselves and the vehicle in front of them and traveling an appropriate speed.
- Impaired drivers. Drivers who are tired or under the influence of drugs or alcohol have a reduced ability to evaluate their surroundings and respond to the changing traffic conditions. They are often also more likely to engage in the other behaviors that put drivers at risk for a rear-end collision.
Common Injuries Suffered in Rear-End Collisions
There are a myriad of injuries one can sustain in a rear-end crash. The most common injuries include…
- Head injury
- Broken bones
- Spinal cord injury
- Dental or facial injuries
Understanding Fault in Georgia Rear-End Collisions
Many people assume that the trailing car which crashes into the leading car is always at fault in a rear-end crash. It is true that the trailing vehicle nearly always holds some degree of fault. All drivers are responsible for following traffic at a safe distance. Drivers often have to slow or stop suddenly in response to traffic or other road hazards, such as objects falling or rolling onto the roadway.
However, the driver of the trailing car is not completely responsible for every rear-end collision. There are situations in which the lead driver could be responsible for the accident. These situations include instances when:
- The vehicle’s rear brake lights are not functioning.
- The vehicle is experiencing a mechanical problem but is still on the road.
- The driver reverses the vehicle without warning.
- The driver makes a sudden, improper stop.
- A driver unexpectedly attempts a turn without signaling.
Georgia is a comparative fault state, which requires victims to demonstrate how the person responsible for the accident is to blame. A victim can receive some amount of compensation as long as he is less than 50 percent at fault for the accident.
Contact an Atlanta Car Accident Lawyer
If you or someone you love suffered injuries in a rear-end collision, you may be entitled to compensation. Contact the Atlanta car accident lawyers at Rechtman & Spevak today to learn more about your rights in Georgia and what kind of award you may be able to obtain.