It is an all too frequent scenario. A driver is stopped in traffic, waiting for the light to turn in downtown Chicago, when suddenly they are slammed forward from behind. In fact, rear-end collision account for 29.4 percent of total crashes in Illinois and 28 percent nationwide. In 2013, they led to the most injury crashes, making up 29.8 percent of injury crashes and causing thousands of dollars of property damage.
Top Reasons for Rear End Accidents
Rear-end accidents happen for a variety of reasons, many of them related to distracted or reckless driving behaviors, including texting and speaking on cellular devices.
Common reasons for rear-end collisions in Chicago include:
- Tailgating/following too close – One of the biggest reasons for rear-end collisions is tailgating. When the rear driver does not allow enough distance to stop safely, a rear-end collision is almost inevitable if the front driver brakes suddenly.
- Unsafe speeds – Closely related to tailgating, following at speeds that are too fast to give enough time to stop if the vehicle ahead stops abruptly can cause rear-end collisions.
- Distracted drivers – Distracted driving is a common reason for rear-end accidents because these drivers take their minds away from driving at safe distances or paying attention to what is happening in front of them. Behaviors include texting, talking on the phone, taking care of children, eating, grooming, and anything else that prevents the driver from giving their full attention to the road.
- Mechanical faults – Rear-end accidents may occur due to faulty brakes or other mechanical errors. Especially when road conditions become more dangerous in winter, it is extremely important to keep vehicles well maintained.
Determining Fault for Rear-End Collisions
According to the Illinois vehicle code, the motorist who rear-ended the other vehicle is presumed at fault. This is true for a majority of rear-end collisions, although there are some exceptions. If you are a Chicago driver involved in a rear-end accident and you were the rear driver, it is possible to dispute the fault if you believe there was a driving hazard that could not be avoided.