If you have ever been driving down the road and have seen a car accident in which the entire front end of one vehicle is completely smashed in, and the other vehicle looks almost unscathed, then you know what a rear-end accident looks like. The chances are that if you're reading this, you were involved in a rear-end accident yourself recently. This is a common type of accident and is most often caused by drivers who aren't paying attention to where they are going. This is a dangerous and widespread problem. While rear-end accidents are certainly embarrassing for the at-fault driver, they can also be deadly, depending on how fast the driver was going when he or she struck the car in front.
The attorneys at Slappey & Sadd have handled dozens of rear-end accident cases for our clients and have been able to achieve many successful outcomes. If you were injured in a rear-end accident, reach out and have an attorney look into your case to make sure you are getting the maximum compensation you deserve. Our attorneys are skilled at representing victims who have been injured in all types of car accidents, and we will evaluate the details of your case and provide a plan of action to proceed.Rear-End Accidents are Very Common
Rear-end accidents are very common and they happen every day. In fact, according to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), rear-end accidents are the most common accidents that occur on American roadways every year. The NHTSA found that rear-end collisions made up 33% of all crashes in the year 2015. Breaking that number down even further, rear-end crashes also accounted for 6.8% of all fatal crashes, and 32.4% of all injury crashes for the same year.Causes of Rear-End Accidents
We've established that rear-end accidents are very common, but why is that the case? The simple answer is that, because cars move forward rather than backward or sideways, it's much more likely that a vehicle is going to hit something in front of it rather than something behind it or beside it. When you throw traffic into the mix-for example, a long line of stopped cars at a stoplight-it's easy to see why these types of accidents occur with such regularity. A few more specific reasons why people get into rear-end accidents include:
- Driver distraction: Distracted driving is the most obvious cause of rear-end accidents because there is no reason why the driver would not have stopped if he or she had been paying attention. Distracted driving includes any behavior that takes your eyes off the road, including eating, putting on makeup, talking to passengers, adjusting the radio and temperature controls, and talking on the phone. Texting is an especially hazardous cause of distracted driving, as sending one text message takes your eyes off the road for an average of 4.6 seconds-enough time to drive the full length of a football field.
- Following too close/tailgating: Tailgating occurs when a driver follows the car in front of him too closely. Drivers do this for several reasons, one of the most common is that the following driver thinks the car in front of him is going too slow and wants to get that message across. Unfortunately, if the front car suddenly slams its brakes, an accident is all but guaranteed to occur.
- Weather: Even drivers who usually are safe and prudent can find themselves causing a rear-end accident if the weather is not ideal for driving. For example, it might be raining so hard that a driver cannot see the car that is stopped in front of them in time. Or maybe the roads are slick with snow and ice, and the driver did not give themselves enough room to come to a complete stop.
- Speeding: Cars that are speeding take longer to stop than cars that are going the recommended speed limit for the road they are on. If a driver is speeding and the car in front of them stops or slows down dramatically, they might not have left enough room to stop before causing an accident.
- Intoxication: Drivers who are intoxicated take much longer to react to stimuli than drivers who are not under the influence. Thus, even if the intoxicated driver is going the correct speed and leaving plenty of room to come to a complete stop, he still may not register that the car in front of him has actually stopped until it is too late.
There are very few certainties in the law since everything depends on the individual circumstances of each case, but liability for rear-end accidents comes as close to legal certainty as possible. In the overwhelming majority of cases, the fault for rear-end accidents falls on the driver of the car that crashed into the car in front of it. This is because liability for these types of accidents is based on negligence-the legal standard that is used to describe a situation where a person's conduct falls below a certain standard of care. Since the ordinary standard of care for a reasonable driver is to come to a stop when another car is stopped in front of your car, failing to do so almost always indicates a breach of that standard. One of the only exceptions to this rule applies in cases where the car in front suddenly reverses and hits the car behind it. However, those situations are fairly rare, so if you were in the car that was rear-ended by a driver who didn't stop, you are likely not at fault.Contact an Atlanta Rear-End Accident Attorney
If you have been injured in a rear-end accident due to another driver's negligence, you may be able to recover for your injuries. Contact the attorneys at Slappey & Sadd for a free consultation to discuss your case by calling 404.255.6677. We serve the entire state of Georgia, including the following locations: Muscogee County, Newton County, and Walton County.