There is a myth that rear-end car accidents aren't serious and therefore don't have the potential to cause severe injuries. But even a rear-end collision at low speeds can be hazardous to your health.
Sometimes downplayed as "fender benders" or "minor" accidents, rear-end crashes can cause a lot of damage to your body—especially to the head, neck, and back. Research shows that a rear-end collision at under 10 mph can result in injury.
What happens to your body in a rear-end crash?
When another driver hits you from behind, the force of that collision is transferred to your car and through your body. For example, if you're stopped and get rear-ended, this sudden impact will jolt you and your vehicle forward. Your seat belt restrains your body, and it will then launch back just as quickly into your seat, violently snapping your head and neck back and forth.
In addition, your internal organs are crashing around inside your body, putting you at risk of internal bleeding and other severe, potentially life-threatening medical conditions.
In short, rear-end accidents should be taken seriously, and negligent drivers should be held accountable for their actions. If you were rear-ended and injured in Indiana, you may be entitled to compensation for your medical bills and other losses. An experienced car accident lawyer can help make you whole again.
Rear-end accident statistics
Nationwide, more than 2,400 people died in rear-end car accidents in 2020, according to National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) data. That same year, about 417,000 people were injured in hit-from-behind crashes.
The following is information on the most common types of injuries and where rear-end crashes happen in Indiana.
Common rear-end accident injuries
Protecting your health after a car accident is essential. In the chaotic aftermath of a crash, it is possible to be severely injured and not even know it. Rear-end accidents, in particular, are associated with delayed pain injuries like whiplash.
Here are some of the most common injuries related to rear-end accidents:
- Traumatic Brain Injuries (TBIs) and head trauma. All injuries to the head are serious. In a rear-end collision, you could hit your head on a steering wheel, windshield, window, or headrest. Your head could also be bruised, punctured, or fractured by flying debris or broken glass. Traumatic brain injuries such as concussions, brain hemorrhages, and swelling are common.
- Fracture bones. Some of the bones most likely to be damaged in a rear-end crash are the pelvis (hip), ribs, clavicle (collarbone), femur (thing bone), tibia, or fibula (shin bones), or the small bones in your hands or wrist.
- Dislocation. The jarring effect of being hit from behind can rattle bones and cause dislocation of the shoulder or jaw.
- Spinal Cord Injuries. Your spine is made up of interlocking vertebrae that protect a column of nerves controlling body function. Any injury to the spine is dangerous and deserves emergency medical attention. Symptoms of a spine injury include bulging disc, herniated disc, and back pain.
- Whiplash. The majority of rear-end accident victims suffer a whiplash injury. Whiplash is intense neck pain that can be constant or periodic. This pain can limit your range of motion. It could stop you from sleeping, driving, participating in events, enjoying hobbies, or even going to work. Left untreated, whiplash can develop into chronic pain and disabilities.
Where do fatal rear-end crashes happen in Indiana?
Most rear-end car accidents are not fatal, but the worst can and does happen. In 2020, there were 64 fatal rear-end car accidents in Indiana, according to federal crash data. Intersections were hotspots for deadly rear-end car accidents in Indiana. According to the Fatality Analysis Recording System (FARS), deadly Indiana rear-end accidents were recorded at the following locations in 2020:
- Elkhart - Franklin Street
- Evansville - State Highway 62 at Lynch Road
- Gary - I-90 near Exit 14A (Grant Street)
- Indianapolis - Troy Avenue at Keystone Avenue; Allisonville Road at 56th Street; and Arlington Road near the railroad crossing
- Muncie - Madison Street at 21st Street
- South Bend - Lincoln Way at Bendix Drive
- Terre Haute - US Highway 41 near 1st Avenue
- Whitestown - US Highway 52
Contact a rear-end accident lawyer today.
If you've been in a rear-end accident in Indiana, see a doctor as soon as possible. Then, call Indiana's trusted law firm for over 100 years to review your legal rights and options. We can listen to what happened, explain how the law applies to your situation, and describe exactly how we can help you.
Our Indiana car accident lawyers take rear-end accidents seriously. When the insurance companies try to take advantage of rear-end accident victims, we push back. At Vaughan & Vaughan, we build strong, evidence-backed cases that advocate for maximum compensation.
Contact us today for a free case evaluation if you were injured in a rear-end car accident or another type of Indiana crash.