What to Do When Your Car is Rear-Ended

Being involved in a car accident can be a scary experience. You may not see it coming, which doesn’t give you time to react. And if you become involved in a rear end collision, you may feel at a loss as to what to do next.

Rear-end collisions are often chalked up as minor accidents, but the truth is they can cause serious bodily harm, property damage, and even death. Studies show that a whopping 88% of rear end collisions are caused by driver negligence, including following too closely or texting and driving. The cars they collide with are usually unsuspecting victims that have little or no control over the accident.

First rule: don’t panic

Still, it’s important for you to know how to take control if you do become rear-ended. While you can’t prevent a collision, you can improve your chances of gaining an optimal outcome by following these best practices:

Check the Welfare of Your Passengers

First and foremost, you should check to see if your or your passengers are okay after the rear end collision. The impact of the accident can put serious strain and stress on the body, including whiplash and traumatic brain injury.

Your first priority should be to call emergency services.

If you or a passenger are injured and need medical attention, your first priority should be to call an ambulance. Everything else can wait.

Call the Local Authorities

Local police agencies are usually responsible for handling accidents. Call your local emergency number so that the dispatcher can send help right away. Make sure to specify If there are injuries, as police will usually arrive on scene faster.

The responding officers will try to piece together what happened. To do this, they will take statements from drivers and their passengers, along with potential witnesses who can verify details. The police are tasked with finding who is at fault for the accident (usually it’s the person who rear ends the other driver, but that is not always the case). They will determine the cause of the accident and provide you with insurance paperwork and other information to help you move forward.

Regardless of who you think is at fault, it’s best not to admit fault or place blame at any point of the accident. There could be underlying causes or factors that contribute to the accident, and it’s up to the police to assign blame. If you become rear ended, this usually isn’t an issue. If you’re the one who rear ended another driver, it’s still best not to admit fault to avoid compromising the investigation.

Give a Statement to Police

The police should ask you for a statement, so be as detailed as possible. They’ll want to know what you were doing at the time of the collision, what the weather was like, and anything else that can help them recreate the scene. It’s important not to leave anything out, as inconsistencies that might arise later could muddy your story.

It’s a good idea to take photos of the accident, including the damage to your car and other driver’s car. These photos can be used as evidence to support your claim.

Provide Police with Dashcam Footage from Your Car

Dashcams are growing in popularity, and not just because they’re cool gadgets to have. If you’re involved in any type of a collision, and that includes being rear-ended, your dashcam can provide useful evidence to the police.

Dashcam can provide useful evidence to the police and your insurance company (photo by heidi_the_335 on Instagram)

For example, the BlackVue DR900X-2CH model has a front and rear camera that captures footage in 4K UHD and full HD image quality respectively, which means users can capture the entire collision on camera to assist in the investigation.

In fact, dashcams have helped numerous drivers set the record straight to avoid being placed at fault in an accident. This gives you hard proof instead of your word against the other driver’s, giving you more peace of mind while you’re on the road.

Check on the Other Driver

If you’re not seriously injured, it’s common decency to check on the other driver’s well being. Call for medical attention if they need it, and get their name and contact information. It’s not an admission of guilt to ask if they are okay, but keep your conversation to a minimum.

Go to the Hospital

Not all injuries are evident upon the moment of impact in a rear end collision. In many cases, you may not feel the effects of an injury until days or weeks later.

The most common types of injuries associated with a rear end collision are

●   Spinal cord injury

●   Paralysis

●   Traumatic brain injury

●   Whiplash

●   Broken bones

●   Neck or back injury

The best way to assess any bodily damages is to go to the hospital for an exam, even if you don’t think you’ve sustained any major injury. Going to the hospital immediately following an accident can make your claim more credible and make it easier to recoup any losses. The other driver’s insurance should pay for medical bills, even if they only have the minimum required insurance.


To sum up, there are certain steps you can take when you are involved in a rear-end collision. Following these steps will help you minimize the stress and streamline the entire process – from the peace of mind of knowing what to do, to a smooth and painless insurance claim process. The most important thing is to check if everyone involved is safe and well. The next step is to call the emergency services if needed, and the local authorities. Then you can give your statement and provide dashcam footage if necessary. 

Lastly, even if you felt alright during the incident, it’s best to go for a check-up afterwards, as not all injuries are evident right away.

We hope this article helps you in the stressful situation that is having your vehicle rear-ended.

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