One of the things you can count on here in California is traffic jams. Stop and go traffic seems to be the norm, which means that you could easily become the victim of a rear-end collision. No matter how much you keep your eyes on the traffic behind you, you simply can't predict what another driver will do. You may tap your brakes to alert drivers behind you or use your turn signals well in advance of a turn, but that may not be enough.
In fact, every year, approximately one million rear-end collisions occur across the country, and many of them occur here in California, which makes them one of the most common types of accidents. The problem is that these accidents are largely preventable.
The most common reasons for rear-end collisions
Driving habits play a large role in these crashes, which often makes them preventable. When it comes to rear-end collisions, many of them have the same things in common:
- Distracted driving
- Traveling too fast for road conditions
- Failing to pay attention to traffic flow
This information probably doesn't surprise you. You probably look in your rear view mirror and often see a car right on your tail or coming up on you fast. In most instances, you may be able to avoid a crash, but it only takes one time for you to have nowhere to go and end up in an accident.
The most common injury in rear-end collisions
You may have already guessed that whiplash is the most common injury in this type of accident. Even though most people experience some pain and discomfort for a while, their injuries are not serious. However, anywhere from 20 to 30 percent of whiplash cases involves more serious repercussions. For this reason, you may want to seek medical attention right away after a rear-end collision, especially if you experience any of the following symptoms:
- Dizziness or vertigo
- Neck, shoulder or arm pain
- Visual disturbances
- Jaw pain
- Weakness, tingling or numbness
- Emotional complaints
These symptoms could occur due to the violent and forcible movement of your head and neck during a rear-end collision. In most cases, your muscles and ligaments take the brunt of the trauma, but that isn't always the case. You could experience nerve or joint damage, which takes longer to heal and may even require surgery or other aggressive treatment.
You may end up facing a significant recovery time depending on the extent and severity of your whiplash. While you recover, you may incur substantial medical expenses and may not be able to work. These and other damages could add unneeded stress to your situation. You may be able to recover your financial losses through the filing of a personal injury claim against the at-fault driver.