What is the Most Common Type of Injury In a Rear End Collision


Each year there are millions of auto accidents throughout the United States and these accidents on average have caused more than 33,700 deaths and $871 billion dollars in damages and fees. Sadly, the number of accidents seem to be on the rise as the National Highway and Transportation Administration (NHTSA) is reporting that there are approximately 15,913 accidents occurring every day across the United States.

To put this in perspective, in 2010 there were 5,338,000 reported accidents and in 2015 that number increased to 6,296,000. This means that in less than 5 years we have seen an increase of close to one million more accidents per year across the United States and these numbers will continue to grow.

With the rates of accidents increasing each year, skill and experience may no longer be sufficient enough to protect you and your loved ones from becoming one of these harrowing statistics. Auto accidents are no longer a “what if” scenario, rather they are a “when” and this means that you need to be prepared to act appropriately and efficiently following your accident.

If you’ve been in a rear end collision, these are the most common types of injuries you may have sustained:

  • whiplash
  • airbag injuries
  • seat belt injuries
  • back injuries
  • brain / head injuries
  • wrist / arm injuries
  • emotional / psychological damage

Below are more specific details on how a rear end collision may result in these injuries.

What is a Rear End Collision?

Car accidents are classified by the location of the collision between cars. This means that rear end collisions are exactly what they sound like; rear end collisions are when one car runs into the back of another car.

Rear end collisions are very common in the United States, in fact, 32% of the 5,338,000 accidents reported by the NHTSA were rear end collisions.

Most Common Types of Injury in a Rear End Collision

Due to the location of the collision between the cars, many people incorrectly believe that a rear end collision is a miniscule accident with some damage to the cars and the people in the car walking away with little to no injuries. This may be true for some accidents,


Whiplash is the most common injury in a rear-end collision. In a rear end collision, the car being struck is usually not moving and when the car collides with them the force and momentum of impact causes a sharp, forward movement of the neck. Whiplash can cause soft tissue damage and pain that last anywhere from a few days up to a year or more.

Airbag Injuries

According to the NHTSA airbags are designed to deploy at “moderate to severe” frontal or near-frontal crashes, which are defined as crashes that are equivalent to hitting a solid, fixed barrier at 8 to 14 mph or higher.”  Even though airbags are extremely beneficial and save lives each year, the force at which they deploy can break bones such as your nose or ribs as well as they can burn your skin.

Seat Belt Injuries

Seat belts save lives and you should always have a seat belt on while you are in a vehicle. However, when an accident occurs seat belts will quickly tighten to prevent you from being thrown from the vehicle and the tightening can cause lacerations and bruising.

Back Injuries

Whether the accident occurred at low speeds or high speeds, the force of impact during the accident can cause a compression of the spine and disk in your lower back. This often leads to extremely painful herniations which may require surgery and months of intense rehabilitation.

Brain and Head Damage

In addition to the whiplash that a rear-end collision causes, when the head is jolted forward uncontrollably it often hits something. Whether it is the airbag or the steering wheel, hitting your head is extremely dangerous. The most common head injury in a rear-end collision is a concussion which can result in loss of consciousness, bruising, nausea and a brain bleed. Head injuries are extremely serious and may cause death if they are not treated soon after an accident.

Wrist and Arm Injuries

When an accident occurs, the driver most likely has their hands on the steering wheel and this means that the impact of the accident can cause arms and wrists to break or shoulders to dislocate. Whether it is the force of the collision or the explosion of the airbag, wrist and arm injuries are very common in rear-end collisions.

Emotional/Psychological Damage

While most people only think of the physical injuries following a car accident, psychological and emotional damages are common following an accident. Many drivers develop PTSD, obsessive compulsive disorder or even depression following an accident.

What to do following a fender bender:

  1. Pull your car over to the side of the road where you will be out of harm’s way
  2. Make sure no one is hurt. Call 911 if there are any serious injuries.
  3. It is not required to obtain a police report if the accident is minor, but obtaining one may be beneficial.
  4. Exchange insurance information with the other driver.
  5. Take pictures of any damage that happened to either car, as well as take pictures that include the area where the accident occurred.
  6. Contact your insurance company as soon as possible following the accident. Be prepared to share pictures of the crash as well as the insurance information of the other driver.
  7. Contact a personal injury attorney to discuss your right to recover damages.

How We Can Help

As the victim of a car accident you are entitled to sue for financial compensation needed to remedy the damage caused by the other driver. If you have been injured in a rear-end collision in Arizona, you need an experienced and aggressive attorney to assist you with obtaining the compensation needed to cover your injuries and damages. To ensure that you receive the money you deserve, speak with Arizona’s premier car accidents lawyers.

Call our Personal Injury team at (480) 467-4392 to discuss your case today.

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