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  • Writer's pictureTom Fowler

Rear Ended Collision Injuries

Updated: Feb 23, 2022

A rear ended collision is one of the serious road accidents in the US. According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), a rear ended crash is responsible for more than 29% of car accidents in the country every year.

That’s roughly around 1.7 million rear-end collisions. Out of that number, over 1,700 people die, and 500,000 individuals get life-threatening injuries.

It is also estimated to double in the coming years even if the US or Iowa, in particular, strictly implements its state or federal law.

What is a rear ended accident? What are the top causes of rear end crashes? What are the common rear end collision injuries? And how can you minimize your risks of causing a rear-end accident and injuries?

Good questions, and you are in the right place. Read on for more!

What is a Rear End Vehicle Accident, and What Caused It?

What is a Rear End Vehicle Accident, and What Caused It?

You have probably heard of a rear end car accident a couple of times already. But what is it? As the name indicates, it is a car accident when drivers hit a vehicle from behind.

It usually happens in congested traffic or at a red light. Sometimes, it can take place at high speed on a highway.

Some common causes of rear end collisions are driver fatigue, distracted driving, drunk driving, aggressive driving, or extreme weather conditions.

Injuries Caused by a Rear End Vehicle Collision

Because of the impact caused by rear end collisions, it is normal to be injured. In this section, you will learn the common and severe injuries you, as a driver or a passenger, could get from a rear end car accident.


Experts say whiplash is one of the most common injuries caused by rear end collisions, which impact more than one million people all over the US every year.

Whiplash is a neck injury caused by the head and neck are being snapped forward by a forceful and quick movement.

Whiplash is usually the result of a rear end accident. But other factors, including sports accidents and different types of trauma, can contribute to this injury.

Most patients with whiplash feel better after a few weeks of treatment. But that is not always the case. Research revealed that some people suffer from complications like chronic neck pain that lasts for weeks or months.

Now, how do you know if you have whiplash and other related injuries? Common symptoms include neck pain, headaches at the base of the skull, numbness in the arms, dizziness, and fatigue.

However, the best thing you can do is get quick medical care for your comfort and peace of mind.

Herniated Discs

Suppose you have no visible injuries after a rear end accident. You might think you are not hurt and do not need any medical attention.

But after a few days, you feel neck and back pain. Then, you take medicine and your discomfort improves. But after some time, your neck and back pain recurs.

Perhaps, you are suffering from back injuries like herniated discs. It is time to take advantage of a consultation from your doctor before it is too late.

A herniated disc is one of the common spine or back injuries a driver can have after a rear end collision. It is usually ruptured and can cause numbness, weakness in the arms, and tingling.

While some decide to be operated on, surgeries are not necessary to treat herniated discs. A chiropractic service can bring back your comfort. It typically includes spinal manipulation and physical therapy.

Decompression therapy on the spine is another effective and popular treatment you can also consider.

Muscle Strain

Another serious back injury resulting from a rear end collision is a strain in the muscles or soft tissue, which many people tend to underestimate.

But when left untreated, the strain can be persistent, affecting the quality of your life and leading to other injuries.

The best initial treatment includes ice and compression. Taking a rest is also recommended.

Severe strain, on the other hand, is a different case as it requires a surgical repair.

While symptoms may vary, limited motion, bruising, muscle spasms, and inflammation are common.


Drivers and passengers after rear end collisions may also suffer from head and brain injuries like a concussion. Common symptoms are problems with balance, memory, concentration, and coordination. Recurring headaches can also cause you a lot of discomfort.

What’s more, this brain or head injury can lead to nausea, blurry vision, vomiting, drowsiness, fatigue, ringing in the ears, confusion, amnesia, slurred speech, disorders of taste, irritability, and sensitivity to light.

To prevent and reduce the risks of this brain injury, do not forget to buckle up your seatbelt wherever you go and wear other protective gear if the need arises.

Physical and regular exercise can also improve your balance and strengthen your leg muscles.

Broken Bone Injuries

Fractured ribs are the other common injuries people may get when rear end collisions occur.

Today’s cars are equipped with an airbag. In a rear-ended crash, this airbag will automatically deploy, which is intended to save a person's life but can lead to serious injuries.

More particularly, it may break bones and lead to fractured ribs, but that is rare. The risks of having broken bones are higher with loose and sharp objects inside the vehicle because an airbag is made to take the security of every person to new heights. According to NHTSA, airbags have saved approximately 50,457 lives and reduced driver fatalities by 29%.

Spinal Cord Injuries or Paralysis

A person may suffer from different injuries during a rear end collision. Spinal cord paralysis is one of the symptoms you do not want to experience as it is a long-term complication.

This paralysis results from damage to a part of the spinal cord, causing permanent changes in body functions.

If you suspect someone has a spinal cord injury, the emergency signs to look out for are incoordination, extreme back pain, impaired breathing, twisted neck, or loss of bowel control.

Is the injury to the spine or paralysis treatable? Unfortunately, not. But there are rehabilitation treatments that could improve one’s condition.

These may include occupational therapy, physical therapy, adaptive equipment, assistive technology, supportive devices, and mobility aids.

You can also ask or phone your doctor for more possible options.

Facial Disfigurement Injuries

A rear end collision may also lead to a broken jaw, cheekbone, and nose.

And it takes extensive surgeries to fix any of these long-term medical problems.

The recovery would not happen overnight. It would take weeks, months, and even years, depending on your injury.

So, drive safely. Even if you are a few minutes late to your destination, never exceed the speed limit. This will also protect you from penalties like hefty fines and imprisonment.

How Can You Reduce the Risks of Causing a Rear End Collision and Life-Threatening Injuries?

How Can You Reduce the Risks of Causing a Rear End Collision and Life-Threatening Injuries?

Rear end collisions have been rampant in Iowa in the past years. So, how to avoid causing a rear end collision. Below are some tips you should weigh in mind and follow:

Follow Every Rule on the Road

Traffic rules vary from state to state. Despite that, make sure to drive at an ideal and safe speed. In Iowa, you can only drive 45 miles per hour, especially in suburban districts. For controlled and multilane highways, the speed limit is only around 65 miles.

Remember not to cut off other vehicles, drive on the shoulder, or park on the expressway.

Do Not Drive When You are Drowsy

According to the National Safety Council, drowsy driving accounts for approximately 100,000 crashes, 1,550 fatalities, and 71,000 serious injuries in the US. Therefore, if you haven’t slept well for days because of a hectic schedule in the office, call or live chat with someone to drive you home. You might feel embarrassed at first. But your safety should be your top priority, remember.

Be Cautious During Inclement Weather

Did you know that 22% out of six million vehicular accidents in the US are weather-related?

According to the Federal Highway Administration, nearly 6,000 Americans are killed because of bad weather. Also, 445,000 were injured. So, exercise extra caution when driving during inclement weather. Make sure to put your seatbelts on, check the rearview mirrors, and inspect your lighting systems.

Minimize Distractions to Avoid Any Liability or Compensation to Settle

A recent report by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention revealed that over 8 people were killed in a rear end crash involving a distracted driver. If someone is calling you, be careful.

But stay attentive when driving as much as possible. Also, minimize other distractions. Do not play music too loud, read an email, or look for objects in the car while driving.

Never Engage in Aggressive Driving

Examples of aggressive driving may include speeding, blocking cars, tailgating, changing lanes without giving signals, brake-checking another vehicle, and running the red lights.

Frequently Asked Questions:

Why Should You Have Collision Insurance?

No one expects a car accident. But since the damages and compensation of any vehicular crash can cost a fortune, it is always smart to stay protected with the assistance and expertise of a collision insurance company. That’s why you do not need to use your savings to cover repair compensation and hospitalization expenses.

Who Has the Liability for a Rear End Accident?

The liability in a rear end crash is not automatically given to the rear driver. Sometimes, the lead driver is the one who may violate a specific traffic law. But it still depends. If you are being blamed, even if you do not have any liability for the accident, a personal injury lawyer can come to your rescue.

When looking for Des Moines auto accident attorneys, Tom Fowler Law is surrounded by the best professionals. Call us today for more information!

What is the Average Vehicle Accident Settlement and Compensation Victims in Iowa May Receive?

The minimum bodily injury liability is around $20,000. This compensation may be higher depending on what you want.

If your Des Moines injury claim is rejected without a valid reason, Tom Fowler Law can come to your rescue.


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