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Houston Rear-End Accidents

Car accidents in Houston are a common problem. Despite making up only eight percent of the state’s population, Houston accounts for 16% of Texas car accidents each year—twice as many as it should. Rear-end collisions in Houston makeup about a third of all car accidents, making them one of the most commonly experienced accidents for Texas residents. Whether you’ve experienced a recent rear-end accident in Houston, or you’re a daily driver on Houston’s congested roadways, it’s important to understand how these common collisions occur, the types of injuries they cause, and how negligence in a rear-end accident impacts a car accident claim in Houston so you can recover damages like medical expenses, lost wages, and compensation for pain and suffering.

When the Rear Driver is at Fault in a Rear-End Collision in Houston

All drivers on the road have a duty to take reasonable measures to avoid causing accidents and injuries to others on the roadway. This includes the duty to leave a safe following distance between the front of their vehicle and the rear of the vehicle in front of them. Most traffic experts recommend a distance of about three car lengths. Unfortunately, many drivers fail to adhere to this safety practice. The following common causes of rear-end accidents leave the rear driver liable for damages in an accident:

  • Tailgating: Following too closely behind another vehicle
  • Distracted driving: when a driver takes their eyes off the road to look at a text message, pick up a burger, adjust their sound system, or argue with children in the back seat, they may not see a driver in front of them slow down or stop, resulting in a rear-end collision due to their negligence
  • Speeding: When drivers exceed the speed limit it extends their stopping time in an emergency. A speeding driver may not have time to stop to avoid a collision if the car in front slows or stops
  • Aggressive driving: drivers in a hurry to get to work or another destination may aggressively tailgate another vehicle to force them into increasing their speed or moving over to let them pass. Aggressive driving is a common cause of rear-end accidents in Houston
  • Intoxication: Alcohol and other substances impair reaction times, visual perception, and judgment commonly causing rear-end collisions
  • Drowsy driving: A fatigued driver may lack the alertness to avoid a rear-end collision in traffic

Any of the above negligent, reckless, or wrongful actions behind the wheel leave the rear driver liable for damages in a rear-end accident in Houston or elsewhere.

Is the Front Driver Ever at Fault in a Rear-End Collision in Texas?

A common misconception is that the front driver is never at fault in a rear-end accident. Although less common than rear-driver negligence, negligent actions from a front driver sometimes cause rear-end collisions, leaving the driver liable for damages. Some ways that front drivers may cause a rear-end accident include the following:

  • Failing to yield the right of way when exiting a driveway or parking lot, or pulling out in front of oncoming traffic
  • Merging into traffic too closely in front of another vehicle
  • Making an unsafe lane change
  • Failing to replace faulty brake lights
  • A front driver recklessly stops short in moving traffic

In less common circumstances, the manufacturer of a defective car part like defective brake lights on a front vehicle or defective brakes on a rear vehicle could make the manufacturer’s negligence the cause of the accident, leaving them liable for damages.

Injuries in Rear-End Collisions in Houston

Rear-end collisions are the number one cause of painful and debilitating whiplash. Other injuries experienced in rear-end accidents include:

  • Neck and back injuries
  • Head injuries
  • Broken bones
  • Soft tissue injuries
  • Spinal cord injuries
  • Bruises and lacerations

Rear-end collisions at high speeds may cause fatality, with back-seat passengers at high risk of serious injuries or death.

Proving Liability for a Rear-End Accident in Houston

It often takes a skilled attorney to investigate all aspects of a rear-end collision in Houston to determine the cause, document evidence of liability, and pursue a claim for damage for injured victims.

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