Rear-end accidents are one of the most common types of car crashes on our roadways, and they are exceptionally dangerous. The person who is rear-ended is often at a stop at the time of the accident, which generally indicates a serious level of distraction on the part of the rear driver. If you are in the unfortunate position of having been rear-ended while stopped, it’s time to reach out to an experienced Georgia car accident attorney.
The National Statistics
The National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) reports on just how common – and dangerous – rear-end accidents are with the following statistics:
- Over the course of a recent year, nearly half of all the two-vehicle traffic accidents were rear-end accidents.
- Every year, rear-end accidents claim the lives of about 1,700 people.
- In 2020 alone, rear-end accidents killed approximately 3,000 people, which translates to 17.1 percent of all fatal accidents that year (National Safety Council).
The fact is that rear-end accidents are just as deadly as they are prevalent.
When You’re Stopped
Once you’ve come to a stop on the road, you may feel like the risk is reduced in terms of traffic accidents, but the fact is that you remain exceptionally vulnerable to negligence on the part of rear drivers. We are often called to stop in the course of driving, including for all the following common reasons:
- Stopping at a stop sign, red light, or another traffic signal
- Reacting to a forward danger, such as an animal or accident on the road
- Following traffic directions issued by officers on the road
When the motorist behind you fails to respond to your stop safely, it can result in a dangerous rear-end accident.
Rear-end accidents forcefully thrust the occupants of the front vehicle forward, which can lead to very serious injuries like the following:
- Whiplash and other soft tissue injuries
- Head injuries
- Broken bones, especially in the lower extremities
- Internal injuries
Even if you don’t feel like you’ve been seriously injured, it’s important to get checked out by a doctor as soon as you’re able to do so. Some very serious injuries are slow to become symptomatic, and the time you lose before receiving the medical care you need can complicate your condition.
The most common cause of rear-end accidents involving a stopped forward vehicle is distraction. Motorists are responsible for driving safely in relation to whatever they come upon on the road, and this includes when forward traffic is stopping at a stoplight, is reacting to a risk factor on the road, or is doing anything else they need to do in order to drive safely. When the rear driver does not pay adequate attention to the road ahead, it can prove deadly.
Texting behind the Wheel
Distracted driving has become a serious danger on our roadways, and the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) calls texting the most alarming of all the distractions available to motorists, which amounts to a long list. Texting represents every dangerous category of distraction in one convenient act, including:
- A distraction that occupies one’s hands
- A distraction that occupies one’s thoughts
- A distraction that occupies one’s sight
To put things in a sharper perspective, consider that, in the average of five seconds that it takes to compose or read a text, a motorist traveling at highway speeds can drive the length of a football field. In other words, one text behind the wheel can do a considerable amount of damage.
Other Forms of Distraction
While texting may be the deadliest form of distraction, there are plenty of other distractions that receive their fair share of attention behind the wheel, including:
- Having conversations with other vehicle occupants
- Dialing in music, setting the GPS, setting the temperature controls, and beyond
- Having phone conversations
- Interacting with one’s smartphone in any other way
- Having conversations with oneself
- Fetching something dropped
- Interacting with children in the backseat
There is no shortage of driver distractions, and they often contribute to accidents involving being rear-ended while stopped.
The Losses You Experience
A rear-end accident can leave you facing immense losses, including the following:
A rear-end accident can seriously damage, or even total, your vehicle – in addition to its contents.
Even what you may consider a minor injury can lead to mounting medical bills that show no sign of ending. If your injuries develop complications or lead to secondary medical concerns, you may be facing ongoing medical costs that can be financially devastating.
Physical injuries often require time off the job, which generally means lost earnings. These losses can be that much more significant if your injuries interfere with your ability to do your job, interfere with your ability to advance your career, or diminish your overall earning potential.
Pain and Suffering
The physical pain you experience as a result of being rear-ended while at a stop sign can be debilitating, and the attendant emotional suffering can be just as difficult. The physical and emotional pain you endure can seriously complicate your recovery, which makes it an important element of your car accident claim.
Your dedicated car accident attorney will help to ensure that the losses you experience as a result of the other driver’s negligence are thoroughly accounted for – in focused pursuit of your claim’s best possible resolution.
Turn to an Experienced Georgia Car Accident Attorney for the Help You Need Today
If a distracted – or otherwise negligent – driver rear-ends your vehicle while you’re stopped, the accomplished Georgia car accident attorneys at Spaulding Injury Law are well prepared to harness the full scope of their imposing experience in their quest to resolve your claim as favorably as possible.
Your case is important, and our formidable legal team is on your side – so please don’t wait to schedule your free case evaluation and learn more by contacting or calling us at 770-744-0890 today. We handle all types of car accident claims, including those involving rear-end crashes. We will assess your case even if your accident seemed minor at the time.