If you regularly drive in congested New York City traffic, there’s a strong chance you’ll be in a rear end accident. Tailgating vehicles in rush hour traffic are a recipe for disaster. All across America, there are about 1.7 million rear end collisions each year. Some experts quote even higher numbers. In fact, rear end collisions occur every eight seconds in this country.
Those who survive these accidents are often forced to wage lengthy battles against such physical ailments as traumatic brain and whiplash injuries.
What follows is a more detailed look at the most frequent injuries suffered due to New York City rear end crashes, along with some general safety tips for lowering your chances of ever being harmed in this type of event.
Most common types of physical injuries suffered in New York City rear end accidents
Whiplash injuries to the neck and back. Unfortunately, even low-speed rear end collisions can cause severe damage to the neck and back since all major compressions of the spine and its lower discs can cause severe temporary or permanent injuries;
Spinal cord injuries (SCIs) and paralysis. The massive impact of a rear end accident can cause the human brain to hit the skull with such great force that many serious physical injuries may develop. Furthermore, once a damaged brain can no longer properly communicate with muscles or limbs, paralysis can occur — preventing the injured person from enjoying normal mobility. Spinal nerve damage can also play a role in creating paralysis;
Traumatic brain and head injuries. Even basic whiplash damage can result in the brain being so severely shaken inside the skull that internal bleeding or hemorrhaging may occur. This can cause the accident survivor to suffer severe cognitive and mobility issues. Lengthy rehabilitation treatments may be needed before noticeable improvements can be realized. In some cases, accident victims can also incur serious head injuries due to the sudden and highly powerful opening of an an airbag;
Facial disfigurement. When seatbelts malfunction or aren’t properly fastened, car occupants’ heads may lunge forward or sideways, causing them to smash into windshields or side window panes. Accident survivors can also suffer serious facial injuries due to heavy objects flying around inside a vehicle just after a rear end accident;
Wrist and arm injuries. When drivers see other vehicles about to crash into them, they often firmly grip their steering wheels. If they hold on to tightly during the impact, they may suffer sprained wrists — or even dislocated shoulders;
Seat belt injuries. Although it’s normally best to fasten seatbelts, when another car or truck rear ends you with tremendous force, you can suffer serious bruising to your kidneys or other internal organs (as well as head and neck “whiplash” injuries).
Safety tips that may help you lower your chances of being in a rear end collision
Avoid all forms of distracted driving. Whenever you’re behind the wheel of a vehicle, never take your eyes off the road and other cars around you. Turn your phone off as you get into your car. If you must use your phone, carefully pull off the road and use it in a safe, well-lit area. Likewise, never eat or drink a beverage while driving – or use the rearview mirror for grooming purposes;
Never speed. Whenever you travel above the speed limit, you’ve got a much higher chance of not properly judging the distance between you and the vehicles you’re rapidly approaching;
Avoid tailgating – or traveling too closely behind other vehicles. You need to leave an adequate amount of space between you and the vehicle in front of you so that if the car in front of you suddenly stops, you’ll have adequate time to apply your brakes without hitting it. If you want to stop a car from tailgating, carefully either pull over into a slower lane to the right – or pull off the road completely so the tailgater can pass you;
Do not drive when overly sleepy – or under the influence of any alcohol, drugs or marijuana. Physical reaction times are always impaired – along with a driver’s judgment when under the influence of substances that make you less alert to all potential road dangers;
Check all your mirrors regularly. Under some circumstances, you may be able to spot a speeding car that’s rapidly approaching you — and switch over into another lane to avoid a rear end collision;
Leave extra space between you and the vehicle in front of you when stopping at signal lights or stop signs. This added room may make it easier for you to move up quickly when the car behind you fails to start braking promptly while approaching you;
Keep your vehicle properly maintained. Be sure your turn signals, tires, brakes and other parts are kept in excellent condition so you can maximize your visibility, driving intentions and ability to stop quickly when necessary.
If you’ve been seriously hurt in a New York City rear end accident, be sure to contact our personal injury law firm right away. We’ve been successfully defending clients like you for many years. We’ll thoroughly investigate the facts of your case so we can obtain the maximum amount of damages available to compensate you for all your losses.