Legal Guide

Rear-End Collisions: Not Just Fender Benders

While many envision rear-end collisions as simple fender benders and see them in films where two love-struck individuals meet following a traffic bump, the truth is far less idyllic.

The NHTSA reveals that rear-end collisions make up over 23 percent of car crashes in the United States. Even more concerning is the medical evidence suggesting that whiplash, a frequent injury from these collisions, can be profoundly harmful irrespective of the crash speed.

In this article, we’ll delve into the causes behind these accidents and highlight potential injuries victims might face.

The Leading Causes of Rear-End Collisions in the U.S.

What exactly triggers these rear-end collisions on our roads? Here are some prevalent culprits:

Distracted Driving

Topping the list is distracted driving. Many treat driving as a routine task, underestimating the concentration it demands. Engaging in distractions like texting not only causes a plethora of accidents, including rear-end collisions, but it’s also deadly. NHTSA data indicates that distracted driving results in over 3,500 deaths in the U.S. each year.


Another risky behavior is tailgating. When drivers follow too closely without adequate space to brake, they jeopardize both their safety and that of others. Roads are unpredictable; if the vehicle ahead stops abruptly, it can lead directly to a rear-end collision.


Speed limits exist to safeguard everyone. Speeding increases the likelihood of rear-end collision. At high speeds, this risk intensifies, endangering everyone involved.

Weather Conditions

Not all causes of rear-end collisions are human-induced. Treacherous roads from ice, snow, or heavy rain can hinder braking, leading to accidents. 

Common Rear-End Collision Injuries

So, given these causes, what are the potential consequences of rear-end collisions? Let’s explore the injuries one might sustain from these crashes in the sections below.


Arguably the most frequent injury from rear-end accidents, whiplash occurs due to the abrupt backward and forward movement of the neck during impact, which can damage muscle tissues. Whiplash’s ramifications can be both severe and long-lasting. Some prevalent symptoms include:

  • Muscle stiffness
  • Neck pain
  • Dizziness
  • Headache

Facial, Brain, and Head Injuries 

The force of impact can thrust one’s head into the dashboard, deployed airbags, steering wheel, windshield, or any other object inside the car. This violent contact can lead to a myriad of injuries, encompassing traumatic brain injuries as well as dental and facial fractures. Depending on the affected area, victims might experience impaired cognitive function, post-traumatic headaches, or migraines.

Emotional Trauma 

Beyond the physical, rear-end collisions can inflict emotional wounds. Victims might grapple with fright, anxiety, or even post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD). Such traumatic experiences can also degrade one’s quality of life, further impacting mental health.


If you’re involved in a rear-end collision, regardless of its perceived severity, it’s vital to pursue immediate medical care,” says attorney David Gordon of The Law Offices of David E. Gordon. Some injuries, like PTSD, may not immediately manifest. A thorough medical examination is essential to ensure your health.

Moreover, if another party caused the accident, consider seeking compensation for your injuries. Engaging a competent personal injury attorney is a wise move in this situation. A lawyer can explain your rights, broker a favorable settlement, and, if necessary, vigorously represent you in court.

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