Rear-end crashes have become more common largely as a result of distractions behind the wheel. These crashes usually happen when two vehicles are traveling in the same direction but the rear vehicle does not slow or stop soon enough to avoid an impact with the leading vehicle. This may be because a driver was texting, talking to someone in their vehicle, eating or because of many other factors.
Usually, rear-end collisions are the fault of the rear vehicle's driver. This is because they have a responsibility to stay far enough behind the leading vehicle to stop or slow down if that vehicle suddenly brakes or slows. When a driver drives too close to another, almost bumper to bumper, it's called tailgating and is illegal.
Rear-end crashes aren't usually as bad as some other types, like head-on crashes or T-bones, but they can lead to serious injuries nonetheless.
What are some serious injuries that could be suffered in a rear-end crash?
One of the most common injuries people suffer in rear-end crashes is whiplash. This is because the sudden stop-and-go motion involved in a rear-end crash can whip the victims' heads forward and back quickly, causing that whipping motion that injures the ligaments, tendons and tissues in the neck, upper back and shoulders. Whiplash can also cause traumatic brain injuries in some cases, so high-speed/high-force crash victims should seek medical attention following the collision to be sure that they have not suffered a TBI from the impact.
Contrary to popular belief, you do not have to hit your head to suffer from a TBI. If your brain moves forward and collides with the skull and then whips back to hit the back of the skull, there could be diffuse axonal injuries to be concerned about. On top of whiplash and TBIs, there is also a risk of broken bones in the face, hands, wrists and arms. Someone who is holding the steering wheel is more likely to shatter their wrists or bones in their hands or forearms. If they hit their head on the steering column or even on the airbag, they could have orbital fractures, a broken nose or other seriously broken bones.
Rear-end crashes can cause devastating injuries. If you're hurt, remember to seek medical care as soon as you can to begin treatment quickly.