Rear-end collisions are among the most common car accidents that occur on roads throughout the country. While many incidents result in little more than a fender-bender, it is important for motorists to understand that rear-end collisions can also be fatal accidents.

The Insurance Information Institute reports 2,428 fatal rear-end crashes in 2020. By educating yourself on how fatal rear-end crashes can occur, you can prepare yourself to drive safer and take appropriate action if you become the victim of a negligent driver’s actions.

How do catastrophic rear-end collisions occur?

Deadly collisions are more likely when the vehicle striking from behind is moving at a particularly high speed. Heavier vehicles also have the potential to inflict much more damage on smaller cars. With that said, large commercial trucks with a greater stopping distance have the most potential to cause catastrophic damage and fatal injuries to unsuspecting motorists.

What fatal injuries can result from a rear-end collision?

Common rear-end injuries include damage to the lower back, spine and neck. High-impact collisions may even result in tears and fractures that can lead to paralysis or death. Passengers in the rear seat of a vehicle struck from behind are at the greatest risk of fatality as a result of crushing or blunt trauma.

Though other types of collisions present a higher risk of fatality, the frequency with which rear-ends happen means that drivers should never neglect proper awareness while behind the wheel. Good defensive driving tactics can keep you safer, but it is also important to know to exercise your right to legal action if an injury or wrongful death does occur.