What’s More Dangerous, a Head-On or Rear-End Car Accident?

Any car crash is dangerous, but certain crashes often result in more serious injuries.  The damage to your car from a head-on collision is often very different than a rear-end crash, as is the physics involved in the crash.  Fayetteville car accident lawyer Ken Kieklak explains why head-on car crashes are often more serious than rear-end collisions.  If you or a loved one was injured in any car crash, call our law offices today for a free consultation on your case.

Types of Car Accidents

Car accident statistics commonly record how the cars hit each other, specifically which side of the one vehicle hit which side of the other vehicle.  This typically divides the options into front, rear, and side impacts.

Front-to-front accidents, or head-on crashes, are unfortunately common.  These crashes often occur on highways or two-way streets when a car crosses over the center line and hits another oncoming car.  They also occur when drunk drivers veer of course into oncoming traffic or distracted drivers turn the wrong way down a one-way street.  These accidents can also commonly occur when one driver fails to yield to oncoming traffic while making a left turn.  In many of these crashes, the drivers are both moving toward each other, so the effective speed of the accident is heightened.

T-bone accidents are frequently responsible for causing motorists to suffer severe injuries. According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), approximately 3,000 fatal car accidents in the United States were caused by T-bone collisions in 2017. If you or a family member was seriously injured in a T-bone collision, you should contact an experienced car accident lawyer.

Front-to-rear accidents, or rear-end collisions, are also quite common.  These accidents typically occur when:

  • A driver follows another too closely,
  • A driver slams on their brakes, or when
  • A driver misjudges their stopping distance and hits a stopped car.

In any of these crashes, one car is usually stopped, or both cars are traveling in the same direction, reducing the overall speed of the impact.

Side-to-side and front-to-side crashes can occur when a driver changes lanes without looking or otherwise crosses into another driver’s lane.  These crashes are usually not too severe since both cars are usually traveling in the same direction.  However, if the driver pulls away and crashes into a wall, crashes into another car, or simply loses control, the accident could be much more serious.

Rear-to-rear and rear-to-side accidents are incredibly uncommon on the road but commonly occur in low-speed parking lot car accidents.

If you or a loved one has been involved in a vehicular accident, it is imperative to contact a Arkansas car accident lawyer immediately to discuss your best possible options for compensation.

Are Head-On Crashes Worse than Rear-End Crashes?

In most cases, head-on collisions are worse than rear-end crashes.  Speed is always one of the biggest factors in determining how severe the damage and injuries in a crash will be.  Physics tells us that the direction of each car’s speed is a vital factor in calculating the force and energy behind the crash.  This can often produce much more serious results when cars are moving toward each other.

Rear-end crashes usually involve two cars moving in the same direction or one moving car and one stopped car.  Front-end crashes can involve one moving and one stopped car, but more commonly involve two cars moving toward each other.  When two cars speed towards each other, the crash is often more serious than striking a stopped car or bumping into a car moving in the same direction as you.  Because of this, a head-on crash with two cars going 25mph is often as bad as a 50mph crash involving a stopped car.  Both of these crashes are far more serious than two cars crashing while going in the same direction.

Physics aside, front-end crashes also leave the drivers more vulnerable since they sit in the front of the car.  If anything breaks the windshield or crushes the front of the car, it can hit the driver.  In rear-end crashes, at least one driver has the added protection of the rest of their car behind them.

Rear-end collisions can still be extremely dangerous to the rear driver.  The driver that causes the rear-end crash could face serious injuries if their car is crushed or their windshield breaks.  However, front-end crashes put both drivers in these dangerous situations, increasing the overall risk of injury and death.

This does not mean that the victim of a rear-end crash has nothing to worry about.  Being struck from behind can push you forward suddenly.  This can push you out into traffic, and the sudden motion can cause whiplash injuries and back injuries.  However, these risks are still lower than the risk of accidental death or serious injury from being hit head-on at high speed.

Fayetteville Car Accident Lawyer Offering Free Consultations

If you or a loved one was injured or if a member of your family was killed in a car accident, talk to Ken Kieklak, Attorney at Law today.  Ken is a Fayetteville AR personal injury lawyer who helps injury victims get the compensation needed for medical expenses, lost wages, and pain and suffering.  For help with your car accident case, call our law offices today for a free consultation.  Our number is (479) 316-0438.