What Causes Most Rear End Accidents in Washington?

Categories: Car Accidents

What Causes Most Rear End Accidents in Washington

Rear end collisions are some of the most common types of accidents across the nation and in Washington state. And while many of these collisions are completely avoidable, they still happen all the time. 

If you were injured in a rear end auto accident, you should know that you are likely entitled to justice and compensation. At Brett McCandlis Brown & Conner, we have seasoned personal injury attorneys available to help you with your rear end auto accident claim. Further, we have decades of experience representing clients in these types of matters, and we are well known for our record verdicts and settlements. If you were involved in a rear end auto collision, don’t hesitate to reach out to us today. 

Below, this post will discuss rear end auto accidents, the causes of most rear end collisions, and the types of damages you may be entitled to after suffering an injury in a rear end accident. This way, you can be more informed before initiating your legal claim.

What Are Rear End Auto Accidents and How Can You Avoid Them? 

Rear end accidents occur when one car runs into another from behind. These types of accidents usually involve two cars, but sometimes, multi-car rear end collisions can occur. 

Drivers are prone to rear end accidents during heavy traffic on both highways and streets. Rear end accidents can occur in traffic when drivers are going too fast, are not paying attention, or do not leave sufficient space between their own cars and the cars in front of them. 

To avoid a rear end auto collision, you will want to make sure that you give yourself sufficient space between your own car and the car in front of you. Further, you will want to avoid speeding, especially during heavy traffic. 

In addition, many new vehicles have automatic braking technologies that you can turn on and off. We recommend that you keep these functions on. The decision to keep the auto-brake function on could save your life. 

Rear End Auto Accident Statistics 

According to the National Safety Council, in 2020, there were 11,320,000 auto accidents in the United States. Further, these accidents can be deadly. In 2020, 42,339 people were reported to have been killed in a motor vehicle related accident. 

Rear end accidents made up a significant number of these auto accidents and contributed greatly to the number of deaths that occurred. Out of the total number of accidents in 2020, 41.6% of them were rear end auto collisions. In addition, 17.1% of the people that were killed in auto accidents were killed in a rear end collision. 

These numbers are staggering. Keeping these numbers in mind will alert you to the necessity of using safe driving practices while on the road. 

What Causes Most Rear End Accidents? 

What causes most rear end collisions? A number of different causes can be identified, including: 


Speeding causes some of the most serious rear end accidents. The force of the impact is heightened when someone is speeding. Speeding reduces the amount of time you have to slow down when someone in front of you brakes suddenly. 


Tailgating, or following another car too closely, is a bad driving habit. We are often in a hurry and mistakenly think that following closely will get us there more quickly. But it doesn’t save time. And worse, it places you in danger. Tailgating decreases the amount of time you have to react to the car in front of you, and this can result in a disastrous situation. As a rule of thumb, it is important to keep three seconds of space between yourself and the car in front of you. You should follow at this distance even when you are in heavy traffic. 

Distracted Driving 

Distracted driving is a major problem on U.S. roads. The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) has actually classified distracted driving as one of the leading causes of auto accidents in 2022. 

Distracted driving includes things like texting and driving, eating while driving, using a navigation device while driving, or talking on the phone while driving. 

Texting and driving is especially dangerous because when you take your eyes off the road for just five seconds at about 60 miles per hour, you could travel the length of an entire football field. 

Auto accidents that occurred because of a distracted driver are lamentable because the accident is almost always avoidable. 

Sudden Lane Changes 

If you change lanes suddenly, you can cut off another driver and put them in a position where hitting you from behind is unavoidable. Before you change lanes, check your blind spots and your rearview mirrors to ensure the coast is clear. Further, to put other drivers on alert, always use your blinker to signal that you are about to change lanes.

Poor Road Conditions 

If you can avoid driving when the road conditions are poor, we recommend that you do so. However, when you need to get somewhere and the weather is bad, use extra caution. This is especially true when roads are slippery due to rain and snow, as sudden car movements can cause you to lose control of your vehicle. 

What Damages Can I Recover After a Rear End Accident? 

If you can show that the other party was negligently driving, you can generally recover damages. Damages compensate the injured party for any losses from the accident. Damages usually fall into one of two categories: economic and non-economic. Economic damages include costs like: 

  • Hospital bills, 
  • Costs of medication,
  • Costs of doctor’s appointments, 
  • Property damage costs, 
  • Costs of treatment, and 
  • Lost wages. 

On the other hand, non-economic damages stem from things that are harder to quantify. Some examples of non-economic damages include: 

A personal injury attorney can explain these damages in more detail. 

How Can Brett McCandlis Brown & Conner Help? 

Rear end accidents can lead to complex legal cases. Therefore, you will want to hire a personal injury attorney that has the tools and skills necessary to deal with these types of matters. At Brett McCandlis Brown & Conner, we have been in practice since 1972 and have what it takes to get you the most compensation possible for your injuries. Contact our office today.

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Matt Conner

Matt Conner has a proven track record of success. Following his graduation from Willamette University with a double major in mathematics and economics, Matt worked as an economist for the Office of Economic Analysis for the State of Oregon before moving onto working in mortgage banking and real estate.