Rear-end collisions account for about 30 percent of all car accidents throughout the United States each year. Amounting to an average of over 6 millions crashes each year, a rear-end collision occurs somewhere in the country every eight seconds.
What to Do if You Were Rear-ended
If you have been involved in a rear-end collision, you may have suffered physical, emotional, and financial injuries as a result of the crash. The Syracuse car accident lawyers at Scott C. Gottlieb & Associates, LLP, are dedicated to assisting victims of rear-end collisions as they seek full and fair compensation for their injuries.
6 Leading Causes of Rear-End Accidents
A rear-end car accident can happen anywhere and at any time. Some of the more common causes of rear-end collisions include:
Tailgating refers to a driver who follows too closely behind the vehicle in front. When a motorist is tailgating and the vehicle in front makes a sudden stop, a rear-end collision is often the result. Statistics released by the New York State Department of Motor Vehicles (NYSDMV) indicate that following too closely was a contributing factor in 42,700 collisions throughout New York in 2011. That means tailgating contributed to almost 17 percent of all collisions, causing 21 fatalities and almost 21,000 injuries.
2. Drowsy driving
A driver who is sleepy or who nods off behind the wheel can easily run into a vehicle in front of his or her vehicle without even realizing the car was there. In fact, a drowsy driver could rear-end another vehicle without ever braking. Driver fatigue is a bigger problem in New York than many people realize. NYSDMV data show that 4,609 crashes in 2011 were caused, at least in part, by drowsy driving. As a result of those collisions, 23 people lost their lives and another 2,307 people were injured.
3. Distracted driving
Distraction has always been a significant contributing factor in vehicle collisions. However, with the increased use of cell phones and other handheld electronic devices, distracted driving has become an even bigger concern. Experts say that it takes an average of 4.3 seconds to read or respond to a text message. That represents about the amount of time it takes to travel the length of a football field at highway speeds – plenty of time for traffic ahead to stop or suddenly slow down. NYSDMV statistics indicate that distracted driving contributed to almost 50,000 crashes in a single year, representing almost 20 percent of all collisions.
4. Drunk driving
Drivers who are impaired by alcohol or other substances often lack the reflexes necessary to stop or take other evasive actions to avoid a rear-end collision. Despite monumental efforts to put an end to drinking and driving over the past several decades, impaired driving remains a danger on the nation’s roadways, and New York is no exception. In 2011, almost 9,000 collisions throughout New York were the result of drinking and driving and/or drugged driving, according to the NYSDMV.
5. Speeding or driving too fast for conditions
Speed is listed as a contributing factor in almost 1 in 3 collisions throughout the United States each year. Even a driver who is not exceeding the posted speed limit may contribute to a rear-end accident by driving too fast for road or traffic conditions. When traffic is heavy or when the roads are slick with water, snow or ice, for example, motorists may need to drive below the posted speed limit in order to avoid a collision with the vehicle in front. Fog is another condition in which drivers need to slow down to avoid colliding with traffic ahead. Unsafe speed contributed to almost 28,000 collisions in New York during 2011, causing 280 victims to lose their lives and another 12,493 to be injured.
6. Longer stopping distances for trucks
Due to their significant weight, tractor-trailers require additional space in order to stop. Traveling at highway speeds, a typical tractor-trailer requires about the length of a football field to come to a complete stop under ideal conditions. If conditions are less than ideal, a tractor-trailer can require considerably more distance to stop. A truck driver who is following too closely behind another vehicle can cause a serious, even fatal, rear-end collision if the vehicle in front suddenly brakes.
Contact Our Syracuse Car Accident Lawyers Today
At the law offices of Scott C. Gottlieb & Associates, LLP, our highly qualified car accident attorneys have helped many Syracuse residents who were hurt in rear-end collisions and other types of crashes. Whether we resolve your case by negotiating successfully with an insurance company or proceed to trial, we can help ensure that your case is treated with respect and that you receive the maximum amount of damages allowable by law.
If you or a loved one has been seriously hurt in a rear-end collision, call our Syracuse personal injury attorneys or contact us via our online contact form for a free case review.