Rear-End Car Accidents
Rear-end accidents are the most common type of car accident in Scottsdale, Arizona. They are also the type of accident that is most likely to cause injuries to drivers and passengers. Our Scottsdale car accident attorneys have extensive experience handling rear-end accident cases.
Over the past five years, rear-end accidents made up nearly half of all accidents in Arizona. (According to ADOT). In other words, almost 1 in every 2 accidents in Arizona is a rear-end collision. Of these rear-end accidents, more than 40% result in injury. (According to ADOT). This means that 4 in 10 rear-and accidents results in an injury situation.
There are several reasons why so many injuries result from rear-end accidents. First, drivers and passengers of a rear-ended vehicle usually are not expecting it. They are unable to prepare themselves and brace for the collision. Second, drivers and passengers of vehicles that are rear-ended will not receive the benefit of an airbag. Airbag sensors are typically installed in the front and side of vehicles and usually do not deploy in a rear-end crash. As a result, the drivers and passengers of a rear-ended vehicle can be thrust back and then forward without an airbag to protect them. Finally, the transfer of force in a rear-end collision may be magnified because the rear-ended vehicle is usually at a dead stop. This causes a greater change in the force experienced as the driver and passenger are sitting at rest.
Rear-end accidents can be caused by a number of reasons. These reasons include:
- Tailgating or following to close – As a typical rule a driver should follow the three second rule. This rule provides that if the vehicle in front passes and object, the following vehicle should be three seconds behind before passing the same object. This allows for a safety cushion for the tailing vehicle to safely brake and avoid a collision. If a driver follows too closely or “tailgates” the vehicle in front, it may not be able to safely bring the vehicle to a stop when needed without causing a collision.
- Distracted driving – A driver should pay attention to the roadway at all times. When a driver fails to do so and takes his or her eyes off the road, this is distracted driving. As a result, they may not see the vehicle in front brake, until it is too late. Even a fraction of a second in reaction time can be the difference between a safe stop and a high-impact collision. Typical driving distractions include: texting, dialing, talking on the phone, turning to talk to passengers, adjusting settings on the dash or console, looking at scenery, reading maps/navigation, eating, applying make-up, among a number of other distractions.
- Faulty brakes – The failure of a braking system can lead to a rear-end accident. This can be a complete malfunction of the actual braking mechanism which causes it not to operate. It can also be due to the presence of a substance between the brake rotor and the brake pad which causes the brake to not slow the vehicle as effectively as intended.
- Speeding – When a driver speeds it takes longer to slow his or her vehicle. When a driver is speeding they may not appreciate the extra distance required to bring his or her vehicle to a complete stop if required to stop suddenly.
- Failing to adjust to a heavier vehicle weight – As a vehicle’s weight increases, so does the amount of distance required to stop the vehicle. If a vehicle is carrying several passengers or a load, the driver may not realize that extra distance is required to bring the vehicle to a stop. This could result in a rear-end collision. Likewise, if someone is towing or hauling an object without significant experience, they could miscalculate the extra distance required to bring the vehicle safely to rest.
- Slippery roadway – A slippery roadway does not provide the same coefficient of friction (surface resistance) between the asphalt and the tires of a vehicle. As a result, if the roadway has anything on it that reduces this surface resistance a vehicle may not be stopped in time to avoid a rear-end accident. Substances that can affect surface resistance include, water, oil, ice, sand, etc.
- Assuming someone will proceed – Another common cause of a rear-end accidents is the wrong assumption that someone will proceed through an intersection or light. When that person stops instead, the vehicle behind may not be in a position to do the same without causing a collision. This often happens when the tailing vehicle intends to proceed through a yellow light believing the vehicle in front will do the same. If that belief is wrong, a serious collision and injury may occur.
Our Scottsdale car accident attorneys have handled countless rear-end accident cases. We know the arguments the at-fault party and insurance companies will try to make to push the blame on you. The arguments may include that you “stopped abruptly” or “short” of the intersection or had taillights that did not work. In making these arguments, the at-fault party and insurance companies try to shift part of the fault to you, the victim.
Our attorneys are also familiar with how to handle low-impact, rear-end accidents and rear-end accidents with little visible damage to the vehicles. In these situations, it is important that any damage behind the bumper cover be well documented. Any damage beneath the bumper cover can be used to better explain the true forces of the impact. It is important that this be well documented before any repairs are made to the vehicle.
If you were involved in a rear-end accident, contact one of our experienced Scottsdale car accident attorneys today for a free consultation.