A rear-end car collision is a type of car crash where a vehicle hits the vehicle in front of it.
A typical scenario for rear-end collisions is when the first car suddenly decelerates (e.g., to avoid hitting a pedestrian), and a second car that is behind the first car does not have time to brake and collides with the first car.
In rear-enders, mechanical damage is usually equally shared by the two vehicles (but this can change if vehicle size and/or weight were very different, see below). Injuries to the occupants are usually much worse for the impacted vehicle because occupants of the second (impacting) vehicle can usually anticipate the imminent impact and take measures to avoid it.
Generally, impacting into another car is the same as impacting into a rigid surface at half of the speed. This means that rear-ending a still car while going at 30 mph is equivalent, in terms of mechanical damage and occupants' injury, to impacting a wall at 15 mph. The same is true for the impacted vehicle. The preceding sentence is true if the two vehicles have roughly the same mass. If, instead, one is much more massive than the other, the smaller suffers most of the consequences.
A common medical consequence of rear-ends, even in cases of collisions at moderate speed, is whiplash.
For purposes of insurance and legal responsibility, the driver of the car that rear-ends the other car is almost always considered to be at fault.
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