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A rear-end collision is no big thing--or is it?

Perhaps you have never been in a rear-end crash, but chances are you will be at some point in your life. Rear-end collisions happen to hundreds of thousands of drivers every year.

While victims may sustain only minor bumps and bruises, life-altering injuries can also result from a low-speed rear-end crash. Is prevention possible for such accidents?

How rear-end collisions happen

Distracted driving is a major cause of vehicle accidents, including rear-end collisions. According to a report from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, almost two million rear-end crashes occurred in 2014. In 2015, about 391,000 people received injuries and 3,477 people died in collisions involving distracted drivers.

Common injuries

The jolt triggered by the impact of a rear-end collision can cause the victim's head to snap backward and forward and possibly strike the steering wheel or dashboard. A concussion or more serious head injury can result. Whiplash, spinal fracture and disc herniation are also common injuries, even when the collision seems minor. Any of these injuries could require long-term care and rehabilitation.

Technology to the rescue

Because of the frequency of rear-end collisions, there are ongoing efforts to improve vehicle safety features. For example, rear-view cameras have proven effective in reducing accidents. Another safety feature that is especially effective in preventing rear-end collisions is the ABS, Automatic Braking System. This system sounds an alarm when a driver gets too close to the vehicle ahead and will apply the brakes automatically if the driver does not act quickly enough.

Looking ahead

If you become the victim of a rear-end collision, you will probably change your opinion and think of it as a pretty big thing after all. Do not hesitate to seek medical attention, even if you feel okay afterward. Brain and spine injuries are common in such accidents, but remember that symptoms may not appear right away. Explore your legal options. While you focus on your health, your advocate will work to secure full and fair compensation to cover your medical expenses and more.

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