A rear end vehicle accidents is one of the most common types of types of auto accidents. Usually due to the following vehicle going too fast or following too closely, the impact happens when the front vehicle unexpectedly hits the brakes or slows down and the vehicle behind them cannot stop in time. The result can be extensive damage to both vehicles, injuries and even a multiple vehicle pile up as the accident causes a chain reaction with others that are approaching from behind.
Illinois Traffic Safety Laws Pertaining To Rear End Accidents
In most cases, the driver who impacts the vehicle in front of them is found negligent in rear end accidents. Although laws may differ from state to state, following too closely or tailgating is against the law as is speeding, both large contributors to rear end crashes. Regardless of the reason that the driver in front stops or slows down, if the driver behind them is following these laws, they should have ample time to stop to avoid collision. In Illinois, the law regarding tailgating states:
Following too closely. (a) The driver of a motor vehicle shall not follow another vehicle more closely than is reasonable and prudent, having due regard for the speed of such vehicles and the traffic upon and the condition of the highway.
Determining the safe distance to travel behind the vehicle in front is often referred to the three-second rule. There should be three seconds allowed between the time the vehicle that is in front passes a stationary object before the following vehicle passes the same object. However, when weather, light or road conditions are poor, six seconds is considered a safer zone to give ample time to stop to avoid collision.
Injuries Occurring In Rear-End Collisions
According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration there are an estimated 2.5 million rear end accidents every year in the U.S., accounting for over 2,000 fatalities and over three million whiplash injuries. Both the passengers and drivers in all vehicles can be greatly impacted by these types of accidents. Although whiplash is common, it is also a sign that there may be injuries to the neck, spine and soft tissues that can have long-lasting effects on the injured person. Other injuries from rear end collisions include:
- Broken or fractured bones. It is common for ribs, arms and even legs to be fractures from impact.
- Head injuries. The impact can cause head and brain injuries that can have severe medical consequences.
- Lacerations and bruises. Most victims of rear end crashes will at minimum have bruising from restraints and possible lacerations.
Attributing Causes To Rear End Collisions
There are several reasons that a driver may not stop in time to avoid a rear end collision. These include speeding, distracted driving, intoxicated driving and aggressive driving. Whatever the cause or reason, the end result can be devastating to the victims in both vehicles and have long-term consequences. Especially in rear end collisions that involve several vehicles or commercial trucks, it is important that victims use legal resources to ensure that they investigate all possible recourse for compensation to cover their injuries.
Chicago Auto Accident Attorneys For People Injured In Rear-End Impacts
Many people involved in rear-end auto accidents mistakenly believe that an insurance carrier will automatically compensate them for their injuries and medical expenses sustained in a crash. The truth is that as a person initiating a legal claim, the injured person has the burden of establishing that their injuries are causally related to the accident and the charges are reasonable and customary. Our lawyers know how to present your case in the most favorable way possible to maximize compensation for you. Call us anytime to discuss your options following an injury sustained in a Chicago auto accident.
Learn more about the impact of rear-end collisions: