Rear end collisions make up for roughly one third of all car accidents in the United States, making them the most common form of collision. While the cosmetic aspects are easily fixed, can a minor rear end collision also cause hidden damage?

It’s important to troubleshoot the possibility of hidden damage before it can cause future problems with your vehicle. Learn the signs and preventative measures to take if involved in a rear end collision.

Rear-End Collisions Defined

A rear end collision occurs when the front of one car hits the end of another, typically sending the leading car forward. Most rear end collisions occur when the following driver is distracted or the leading driver stops abruptly. 

Some other causes of a rear end collision include traffic congestion, mechanical failure, or aggressive driving. Luckily, this type of accident typically occurs at a slow speed. Rear end collisions are the least fatal type of car accident, making up for only 5% of collision related fatalities. 

However, even if your vehicle appears to only have minor cosmetic damage, it can cause structural damage that may result in issues in the future. 

What Kind of Damage Can Occur in a Rear End Collision?

Upon first glance, cosmetic damage may seem negligible. Following a rear end collision, you may only see a dinged up bumper, scratches, or missing paint. 

However, a lot of things that are crucial to the function of your car are in the rear. Not all damage done in a car accident is visible, as a matter of fact, some of the most prevalent damage is the damage you cannot see. 

If your car is still in a drivable condition after a rear end collision, it is still recommended that you take your car to be checked out at a reputable auto body shop

A rear end collision can cause a wide variety of damages to your car. Even a slight impact to the back of your car can cause electrical damage. 

In a collision, the wires that make things like your brake lights, battery, and taillights can loosen. Faulty wires for your lights can make you less visible to drivers at night, or prevent following drivers from knowing when you are slowing down and stopping. 

Additionally, some vehicles have transmission components near the rear. Your car transmission needs to be checked out immediately after a car accident, because driving with a damaged transmission is very dangerous and will certainly cause damage to your car in the event that it is leaking. 

Rear Damage

Damage to the trunk or rear bumper can also be dangerous. If the latch mechanism in your trunk is damaged, you may have a hard time opening and closing your trunk. 

Over time, you may even experience your car’s trunk opening on its own whilst on the road. Additionally, most car bumpers are made of plastic and do not provide good protection to the car’s frame in the event of a collision. Even if the frame is slightly bent, it will lessen your car’s chance of being able to sustain damage in any future collision. 

Due to this, a weakened frame is a big safety hazard. Lastly, your car can sustain some serious alignment issues even in a minor collision. If you are driving and your car feels as though it’s pulling to one side of the road, your alignment may be off. Misaligned wheels will cause rapid wear to your tires. 

How Can You Avoid a Rear End Collision?

There are precautions you can take to avoid being involved in a rear end collision. It is always crucial to be a cautious and aware drive. Don’t gamble with the safety of you and your car, these are things you can do to avoid being involved in an accident: 

  • Never use your phone while driving. Do not respond to text, and make sure any navigation is set up before you start driving. Some cars even offer hands free options to minimize distractions. 
  • Take note of the weather. Keep extra distance between vehicles if it is snowing or raining. 
  • Regularly take your car to have its brakes checked. 
  • Obey speed limits at all times. 
  • Never, under any circumstance, drive under the influence of drugs and alcohol. 

Even if you have done everything right as a driver, some car accidents are simply not preventable. 

Statistics in 2018 showed that a staggering 17,250 car accidents happen per day nationwide. 

The average number of car accidents in the United States per year is six million. Even in a minor car accident, it is important to take the state of your car very seriously – skipping a visit to an auto body shop is not worth gambling with the safety of yourself and others in the future. 

After a Rear-End Collision

After an accident, take your car to an auto body shop to have it evaluated for any hidden damages. 

Drivers may be tempted to fix minor damages at home to save some cash following a car accident. Not only is this a dangerous option, but it is also not as cost efficient as one may think. 

There is a high likelihood that the DIY work done on your car will not hold up in the long run and will eventually need to be fixed by a professional. 

This will end up costing you more than the initial repairs would have. There is a lot of equipment and knowledge that a professional has access to that the average driver does not. 

Additionally, attempting to fix damage following an accident is just undue stress that you are putting onto yourself following a collision. 

Hire a Professional

A certified professional can find the hidden issues following a rear end collision and address them so you will not have any issues in the future. 

Even if the car accident was severe enough to be handled through insurance, an insurance adjuster will only take note of damages that are visible at first view. It is still recommended that you get a second opinion from a professional who can take a closer look and address any invisible issues before they start causing you issues in the future. 

Your safety is not worth the gamble – find a trustworthy auto shop that will address your needs and answer any questions you may have about the state of your car following a collision.