Posted on June 3rd, 2014 by Zane Cagle
According to police, the woman was driving a truck southbound on Baltimore Street when she rear-ended a Missouri Department of Conservation truck operated by a 48 year-old man. The rear-end collision propelled the Missouri Conservation truck into the rear-end of another truck operated by a 61 year-old man who was pushed into the rear-end of a truck operated by a 41 year-old man. All four drivers were from Kirksville.
According to police, the 40 year-old woman was the only victim transported to a hospital from the scene.
Approximately 40 percent of all car accidents happen at intersections according to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration. “Crashes often occur at intersections because these are locations where two or more roads cross each other and activities such as turning left, crossing over, and turning right have the potential for conflicts resulting in crashes” NHTSA reports. The following information regarding intersection accidents, rear-end accidents and distracted driving are not statements regarding the Kirksville accident described above. The investigation into the Kirksville accident by authorities is on-going at the time of this blog post. The information is a discussion of the common characteristics in these type of accidents.
NHTSA indicates that 96 percent of intersection accidents occur as a result of error on the part of at least one driver. Intersections are a place where traffic crosses paths and drivers must respect the rules-of-the-road, pay attention to other cars, pedestrians and bicycles and yield the right-of-way as required. Sometimes drivers do not make good choices at intersections. Some of the most common mistakes that cause or contribute to crashes at intersections include:
- Failure to look. The NHTSA says that 44.1 percent of accidents at intersections result from inadequate observation by drivers. A driver may not take the time to adequately check for oncoming traffic before entering an intersection, may enter the intersection even if something is obstructing the view or may not see other cars, people or motorcycles.
- Faulty assumptions. NHTSA reports that faulty or bad assumptions are a factor in 8.4 percent of intersection accidents. A driver may incorrectly believe that oncoming traffic will stop at a yellow light or that a bicycle rider will yield.
- Blocked sign lines for turns According to the NHTSA, 7.8 percent of crashes at intersections happen because a driver’s view is blocked and he or she enters the intersection anyway (see Top Mistakes that Drivers Make that Cause Intersection Accidents.
Approximately 2.5 million rear end accidents happen across the United States each year. About 80 percent of all car accidents in most major cities are rear-end accidents. Most of these accidents can be prevented if the driver maintains a proper following distance, travels at a safe speed and pays attention to the road instead of distractions. These accidents often occur when the lead car slows down or stops and the trailing vehicle does not stop before colliding with the car in front. You may assume that the issue of liability is cut and dry, however, you would be incorrect. Each accident has different facts and contributing factors. Physical evidence such as tire marks and car damage may indicate if the vehicles involved braked, where they started braking and possibly the speed upon impact. Distracted driving is one of the biggest causes of rear-end collisions. Any kind of distraction can translate into a serious auto accident. Often people believe that you cannot be seriously injured in a rear-end collision unless the rear-ending vehicle was traveling very fast at impact—-that too would be incorrect.
Influence of Distracted Driving on Rear-End Accidents
Distracted driving can include talking on a cell phone, texting while driving, eating/drinking or smoking, adjusting the radio or using in-vehicle navigational devices—or even daydreaming. Distracted driving is any behavior that takes a driver’s eye or mind off of the roadway. Distracted driving is one of the biggest contributors to rear-end collisions.
Other factors can contribute to rear-end collisions such as speed, tailgating, alcohol use, running a red/yellow light, lane changes, weather conditions, mechanical failure and insufficient braking.
Injuries from rear-end collision can be anywhere from minor to serious. The most common injury in a rear-end collision is back and neck injuries. While automotive makers design bumpers for rear-end accidents, the low velocity of these crashes can still cause serious injury to the occupants in the car whether there is serious damage to the car or not. Often, people will try to equate the damage of the vehicle to the seriousness of the injury–this is faulty logic. We have all looked at pictures of a car hit by a much larger car and wondered how the occupants were not crushed only to find out that they escaped without injury. Likewise, another person may have a serious injury depending on the angle of their body position at the time of the crash that resulted in little to no car damage. Again, each accident is unique. The first objective is to you seek immediate medical attention to address your injuries. Addressing your injuries right away with medical care may increase your likelihood of successful healing. As well, head injuries that go untreated can sometimes result in serious damage or death. When in doubt, seek medical attention.
Don’t assume that fault or liability is always a given in a rear-end accident. Call one of our experienced auto accident attorneys at (800) 685-3302 or locally (314) 276-1681 right away for your free consultation.