What Causes Rear-End Truck Accidents?

January 18, 2022

Virginia Beach Truck Accident Lawyers Can Help You Determine Who Is Responsible for Your Injury After a Rear-End Accident.
Virginia Beach Truck Accident Lawyers Can Help You Determine Who Is Responsible for Your Injury After a Rear-End Accident.

When you picture a rear-end collision, you might think of a light bump at a stop light or in rush hour traffic. However, rear-end collisions can be much more serious if a commercial truck is involved. These trucks weigh many times more than your car and can cause catastrophic or life-altering injuries.

When a semi-truck slams into the back of your car, the massive force applied to your vehicle puts an extreme strain on your body. Not only will you have significant property damage, but you may have a severe injury as well.

Tractor-trailers and other large commercial trucks are more likely to cause rear-end truck accidents because they take so long to slow down or come to a complete stop. Most new vehicles can stop in under 100 feet when traveling at highway speeds. However, this is different for tractor-trailers and other commercial vehicles. It takes a tractor-trailer about 500 feet to come to a complete stop. This means that when a truck driver sees a car stopped ahead or an obstacle in the road, it may already be too late for them to slow down and stop before hitting your car. This is the most common cause of rear-end collisions involving large commercial trucks.

Even if the driver takes evasive action or hits the brakes immediately, they may not be able to stop in time. Even if the truck driver is able to slow down before hitting the rear end of your car, the force of the impact can still cause great harm to your body.

Rear-end collisions with trucks happen for many reasons. Common causes of rear-end collisions involving trucks are listed below.

Distracted Driving

All drivers face many distractions while on the road. From children, radios, food, to cellphones, a driver’s attention can be pulled in countless directions. However, it is their duty to stay focused on their task at hand: driving.

When a driver fails to keep their focus on driving, accidents and injuries can happen. The severity of a distracted driving accident is magnified when a truck is involved.


While speeding is not always a factor in rear-end collisions, speeding reduces the amount of time a driver has to slow down before hitting the car in front of them. When a truck driver is speeding, they may not be able to slow down before impacting the rear of the car in front of them, regardless of the reason why the car in front of them has stopped or slowed down.


Since trucks take so much more time to slow down than cars, tailgating can be a dangerous practice. Tailgating, like speeding, reduces the time the driver has to hit the brakes before hitting the vehicle in front of them. Tailgating combined with speeding is especially dangerous.

Inexperienced Driving

Every truck driver needs to learn how to drive their massive vehicle safely. Some drivers are much more experienced than others and are able to judge a situation better, taking evasive action and reducing the likelihood of an accident.

Newer truck drivers may be more inexperienced and may be overconfident in their skills. This overconfidence and inexperience in challenging situations can lead to rear-end collisions.

Poor Training

Truck drivers are not solely responsible for their training and level of experience. Their employer is required to ensure they have the training necessary to handle such a large vehicle before sending them out on the road. Poor training by an employer could result in a truck driver not understanding the steps to take to avoid a rear-end collision.

What Injuries Occur in Rear-End Truck Accidents?

Rear-end accidents do not sound like they would cause serious injuries. However, the force of the impact from the back of the car combined with the sheer weight of the truck can result in catastrophic injuries. Listed below are the most common injuries that happen in rear-end truck accidents.

Neck and Back Injuries

When a vehicle is hit from behind, the vehicle lunges forward and so does your body. However, your head often lags behind and moves in the direction of the impact. This can cause a serious neck or back injury, such as whiplash. People involved in rear-end accidents may also experience herniated discs and fractured vertebrae. In severe rear-end collisions, a spinal cord injury can occur, which can even lead to paralysis.

Traumatic Brain Injuries

A traumatic brain injury (TBI) often happens as a result of a severe injury or accident. Truck and car accidents are common causes of TBIs. The most common example of a TBI is a concussion, which can result from a blow to the head.

When your vehicle is hit from behind with such force, your brain can actually move around inside your skull, causing damage even though your head was not struck by any object. This can lead to a severe injury.

Soft Tissue Injuries

Soft tissue injuries can cause chronic pain and require extensive medical treatment. If you have a soft tissue injury, you may have a torn muscle, ligament damage, or tendon damage. Each of these injuries can require multiple surgeries to repair. Even when treated promptly and correctly, a soft tissue injury can lead to lifelong problems.

Who Is Responsible for a Rear-End Truck Accident?

In a rear-end truck accident, the driver who hit the other vehicle from behind is usually responsible for the collision. However, while many truck drivers are to blame for rear-end collisions, they may not be the sole responsible party. With trained truck accident reconstruction experts, you may be able to uncover additional people or companies responsible for your accident.

Trucks are made of many moving parts, and each part must be made and assembled properly to ensure the safe operation of the truck. If a part is not made, assembled, or maintained correctly, an accident could happen. For example, brakes that are not well-maintained could fail when the driver tries to stop, which could cause a rear-end collision. Fault could rest with the truck driver, but also with the maintenance company or even the manufacturer of the auto parts.

The truck driver’s employer could also be liable for improper training or negligent hiring. If a truck driver has been involved in several rear-end collisions but their employer did not run a thorough background check before hiring them, the company could be liable for your accident and injury. Establishing who is at fault for your injury is critical for your legal claim, which is why it is important to speak with a lawyer after any type of truck accident.

Virginia Beach Truck Accident Lawyers Can Help You Determine Who Is Responsible for Your Injury After a Rear-End Accident

Due to the sheer size and weight of a tractor-trailer, catastrophic injuries can occur in rear-end accidents. If you want to find out what your legal options are after a rear-end truck accident, speak with our Virginia Beach truck accident lawyers for help. Our legal team at East Coast Trial Lawyers can help you find the at-fault party. Call us at 757-352-2237 or complete our online form today to schedule a free consultation. Located in Virginia Beach, we serve clients throughout Chesapeake, Eastern Shore, Hampton, Newport News, Norfolk, Portsmouth, and Suffolk, Virginia, as well as North Carolina and nationwide.

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Virginia Beach, VA 23462
Ph: 757-352-2237 | Fax: 757-352-2220