Rear-Enders : Everything You might Need To Know
Last updated Wednesday, November 29th, 2023
Rear-end accidents are surprisingly common. In fact, they are the single most common type of traffic accident throughout both the state and the country. Over 85,000 rear-end collisions occurred on the streets of Illinois in 2014 alone. 
In fact, the National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) estimates that nearly half of all two-vehicle traffic accidents are rear-ended collisions.  Because these accidents are so common, it’s important to understand the nature of the problem and how to prevent injuries.
Understanding Rear-End Accidents
A rear-end collision occurs when one vehicle collides directly into the back of the vehicle in front of it. Crashes often occur due to:
1. Hard braking – the leading driver slams on his or her brakes too quickly
2. Hard acceleration – the following driver accelerates too quickly
3. Lack of attention – the following driver does not notice a slow-down in traffic
4. Tailgating – the following driver is driving too close
5. Unsafe driving for the road conditions – the following driver is driving too fast for the road condition such as wet, icy, damaged surfaces, or other road hazards.
6. Poor visibility – the driver of the second vehicle is driving too fast when there is low visibility in conditions such as heavy rain, snow, fog, and low light.
7. Distracted driving – the driver of the second vehicle loses concentration through actions such as fatigue, texting while driving, putting on make-up, looking at their phone, alcohol, drug impairment, etc.
People who have been rear-ended in a car accident tend to suffer a variety of traumatic injuries. By far, the most common repercussion is whiplash. The term whiplash actually describes a diverse set of neck-related injuries. These can range from minor to severe. Whiplash typically results from a sudden jolting of the body. This occurs when a vehicle is hit from behind.
Causes Of The Typical Rear-End Collision
While any combination of factors can contribute to a crash, the NTSB singles out driver inattention as being worthy of particular note. According to one study, distracted driving was present in at least 87 percent of rear-end accidents. The failure of drivers to detect and respond to slowing traffic would, therefore, be a primary cause of such collisions2.
Who Is At Fault In A Rear End Collision? Some Facts To Consider
Is the driver of the car that rear-ends another car always at fault in a rear-end collision? Usually yes, but there are some exceptions to this rule. Rear-end collisions are among the most common types of car accidents.
Fortunately, most rear-end collisions don’t result in serious or life-threatening injuries for anyone involved. But, just because life-threatening injuries are unlikely, doesn’t mean that a rear-end collision can’t cause you a great deal of inconvenience as well as pain, injuries, and damage to your personal property.
If you’re rear-ended by another driver, then it’s important that you contact a Chicago car accident lawyer as soon as possible.
When Could The Driver That Rear Ends A Car Not Be At Fault?
Generally speaking, the driver of a car that rear-ends another car is at fault. This is because every driver should allow sufficient distance between themselves and the car in front of them. This is to allow them to safely come to a stop .
But, there are specific circumstances that could occur that could reduce or eliminate liability for the car that rear-ends another. Under these circumstances, the negligence would rest on the driver of the car that was run into from behind.
What are those circumstances?
- If another driver hits you in the rear and you don’t have working brake lights, then the other driver may not be at fault in the accident.
- Additionally, if you slow suddenly to turn, but then don’t execute the turn, then the driver who rear-ends you may not be at fault.
- If you drive in reverse causing another driver to hit you, then that other driver most likely will not be at fault in the accident.
- Also, if your car suffers a flat tire and doesn’t pull off the road or use hazard flashers, then a car that rear-ends you may not be at fault.
If You Were In A Rear End Collision, You Should Contact A Lawyer
Whether another driver rear-ended you, or you rear-ended a car yourself, hiring an experienced lawyer is the smart move to make. In either of the aforementioned circumstances, an experienced lawyer can help to protect your rights.
If you rear-ended another car and you feel that the other driver was negligent and therefore at fault, a lawyer can look at the facts of the case. He or she can then advise you as to who was at fault.
Similarly, if another driver rear-ended you, then a lawyer can help you when dealing with their insurance company. If you were rear-ended by a driver who was at fault, then you have the right to compensation.
You can receive compensation for medical bills, personal property damage, loss of income, and also for pain and suffering. An experienced lawyer can ensure that you receive a fair settlement when you are the victim of an accident.
Contact Shuman Legal If You've Been Involved In A Rear-End Collision
Whether you’ve hit another car from behind or are the victim of a rear-end accident, it’s important to contact a car accident attorney immediately. Only an experienced lawyer can protect you from an unfair lawsuit. Plus he/she can help you obtain compensation in a rear-end car accident settlement. Contact the seasoned attorneys at Shuman Legal today to take advantage of our experience and explore your legal options.
If You Or Someone You Know Has Been Involved In A Car Accident,
CALL (800) 722-9744 NOW To Speak To An Experienced Injury Lawyer For FREE.
Since 1996, the Law Offices of Shuman Legal® have been helping Car Accident victims, all injured victims and their families, navigate the complex legal process. We are experienced personal injury, worker’s compensation, auto accidents, and Chicago wrongful death lawyers, and we can help you evaluate the facts.
We can also assess your options, navigate the legal challenges, and advocate on your behalf. Shuman Legal® has over 77 combined years of experience advocating for over 20,000 injury victims and their families and recovering over 50 million dollars on their behalf. We advocate on your behalf, so you can focus on the task of recovery.
 Illinois Department of Transportation. “2014 Illinois Crash Facts and Statistics.” Page 14.
 National Transportation Safety Board. “The Use of Forward Collision Avoidance Systems to Prevent and Mitigate Rear-End Crashes.”