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Rear-end accidents are fairly common. While these types of incidents are often not severe, that is not always the case. Rear-end accidents can lead to significant injuries and property damage.

A common cause of rear-end accidents in Arizona and throughout the US is distracted driving. When drivers fail to pay attention behind the wheel, the chances of an accident occurring increase significantly. In fact, according to information available from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), approximately 87% of rear-end crashes where a driver struck the lead vehicle “included some form or degree of driver distraction.”

Digging Into Some NHTSA Insights

When we look further into the data from the NHTSA, we can see that drivers who were visually focused away from the forward roadway at the onset of a collision were found to have longer braking reaction times compared to those who were looking forward (and less likely to be distracted). The data indicates that individuals looking away from the roadway had a longer reaction time by an average of 600 milliseconds. 

This may not seem like much, but 600 milliseconds is enough time for our brains to process much of the information needed to avoid collision. Distracted driving, without question, does take our attention away from the roadway and contributes to accidents.

Interestingly, an analysis of rear-end accidents in this NHTSA study shows that drivers involved in rear-end collisions and near crashes were not necessarily following other vehicles too closely, given the speed of the vehicles at the time of the incident.

distracted driving and rear end accidents

Distracted Driving Data

Data from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) indicates that distracted driving is responsible for approximately nine traffic deaths each day across the US. The agency says that sending or reading a text while driving at 55 mph is the equivalent of driving the length of a football field with your eyes closed.

Looking at that data, we can begin to see why distracted driving is such a major contributor to rear-end accidents. All it takes is for someone to take their eyes off the road, their hands off the wheel, or their mind off of driving.

Information from the Arizona Department of Transportation shows that there were a significant number of traffic collisions in 2022 caused by distracted driving. Some of the leading causes of distraction, according to the DOT include:

  • Browsing through an electronic device
  • Talking to passengers in the vehicle
  • Talking on a handheld device
  • Talking on a hands-free device
  • Eating, drinking, or doing something else inside the vehicle
  • Distractions outside of the vehicle

Working With an Attorney After an Accident

If you or somebody you care about has been in a distracted driving rear-end accident in Arizona, we encourage you to reach out to an attorney as soon as possible. When you have a distracted driving accident lawyer by your side, you will have an advocate ready to fully investigate the claim. These types of collisions are more challenging, particularly when it comes to determining liability. You need a car accident attorney in Phoenix with experience handling these particular types of claims so you have the best chance of recovering compensation for your medical expenses, lost income, property damage expenses, and pain and suffering.