When you think of rear-end car accidents, most of us think, “fender bender.” But we recently had a case in which a person who was driving a Jeep Cherokee got hit from behind by a Ford utility van and the Jeep’s rear-end was pushed all the way up into the front seats!

Rear-end accidents can be horrific.

And what’s the main cause of rear-end accidents? Distracted driving. People are texting, playing with the radio, eating… you name it. They just aren’t paying attention to the road in front of them and they ram into an unsuspecting driver. These car accidents occur at low rates of speed, such as 5 to 10 miles per hour, all the way up to very high rates of speed.

The injuries from these accidents vary as much as the speeds but typically involve the low back, shoulders and neck.

What should you do if you’re rear-ended by another car? Take as many pictures at the scene as you possibly can. Take pictures of your car AND the other driver’s car. This is very, very important. When someone else hits you, typically they have hit their brakes and the nose of their car dives down below your bumper. This can mean that your car doesn’t look that bad (and their attorney could say that you’re overstating the impact). But if you get pictures of the other driver’s car, typically that car has a much different story to tell.

And never, ever walk away without filing a police report! Even if neither car looks that bad, you must call the police and you must get the insurance and driver’s license information from the other driver. If you don’t call the police, there will be no ticket and the other driver’s insurance company will probably accept liability for damage to your vehicle but they will fight all other harms and losses that you incurred.

Finally, don’t be a distracted driver. You don’t want to hurt another person just because your phone rang.