Rear-end collisions happen a lot. In fact, the US roadways see about 1.7 million rear-end collisions every year. Though most rear-end collisions are minor fender benders, these collisions can be greatly severe. However, you can’t always see the extent of a rear-end collision after it happens. Sometimes, even the smallest tap or ding on the fender can cause a ripple of hidden damages that put your safety at risk.
And no, we’re not exaggerating. Millions of vehicles are on the road daily, and accidents can happen in the blink of an eye. You’re going to want any damages repaired by a skilled auto technician so that rear-end collision damage doesn’t adversely affect you.
What Causes Rear-end Collisions?
The National Transportation Safety Board reported that 87% of rear-end collisions are caused by distracted drivers. When a driver doesn’t notice that a vehicle has stopped in front of them, they don’t have enough time to stop before the collision happens. Depending on the speed they were going, the impact could be catastrophic.
Rear-end collisions also occur from different factors, such as:
- Reckless driving
- Heavy traffic
- Mechanical problems
- Driver fatigue and highway hypnosis
- Intoxicated driving
The majority of rear-end collisions are straight on, but there are instances where vehicles are hit at an angle. The direction and speed at which your car is hit will influence how badly both vehicles are damaged.
Hidden Damages From Being Rear-Ended
There’s one thing about read-end collision damage that you should always look out for after it happens: hidden issues. Always suspect that there is an issue you don’t know about yet. Rear-end collision damage is difficult to spot when you don’t know what to look for, and it might even appear that your vehicle is fine, minus a scratch or some missing paint.
Chances are that there’s an issue that will spring up later on. For example, your bumper might look fine, but there could be a crack that affects the shock absorption of a future incident. Don’t let your safety be at risk; get your vehicle inspected for rear-end collision damage.
With that in mind, let’s discuss some of the common things to look out for following a rear-end collision:
Alignment Issues From Rear-End Collision Damage
An issue that shows up again and again with rear-end collisions is with alignment. You might notice that your vehicle begins to pull one way or the other while you drive. Other indicators of alignment issues include:
- Noisy steering
- Vibrations throughout the vehicle
- Crooked steering wheel
- Uneven and rapid tire wear
- Squealing tires
It doesn’t take much. Even a slight misalignment can put undue stress on essential pieces of the vehicle, like the tires, suspension, and brakes. You don’t want these parts to wear out quickly, because they’re both expensive and required for safety. If you’ve been in a rear-end collision recently, keep an eye out for these things.
Engines have always been more delicate than they appear, but modern engines are even more complex. While you might assume the damage from a rear-end collision is isolated to the tail-end of your vehicle, that’s not always the case. Don’t be surprised if the check engine light switches on after you’ve been hit on the rear.
Rear-ended impacts can also affect the drivetrain. The force of an impact can move through the exhaust system, pushing it forward and into the catalytic converter, muffler, exhaust manifold, and even the engine mounts.
Bring your vehicle to a certified collision repair shop as soon as you can. You don’t want engine and transmission problems getting worse.
Rear-End Collision Trunk Damage
While trunk damage isn’t going to affect the driving of your vehicle, you shouldn’t overlook it. Trunk issues may cause safety hazards, and any problems could reduce the value of the vehicle dramatically.
The trunk should open and close easily and securely lock. What you don’t want is the trunk lock to be damaged. This could cause the trunk to pop open, blocking your rear-view mirror and startling anyone behind you. That could cause another rear-end accident. So while leaving any trunk damage unfixed might seem okay, you should get the problem repaired.
You need suspension for control and stability on the road. Suspension is designed to keep the fricative forces between the road and the tires balanced, so you can better handle the vehicle in all kinds of conditions.
When you experience a rear-end collision, frame damage could affect the suspension. Poor alignment will stress the suspension components; you might notice that the shocks and struts are wearing out much faster than usual.
You’ll notice that the suspension has been affected because of a rough, bouncy ride. It might even feel like you’re no longer in control of your vehicle. Left in this state, your car will become a safety hazard to not only you but everyone else on the road.
Electrical Problems From Rear-End Collisions
Cars today cannot function with technology. There are sensors and wires that can be loosened easily during a rear-end collision. Have a technician examine the electrical components in your car, especially if someone tells you that your taillights and brake lights are working properly.
Get Your Car Checked Out After a Rear-End Collision
When you have been involved in a rear-end collision, there’s going to be a lot on your mind. But one thing you need to prioritize is looking out for damages. Don’t take a chance and jeopardize your vehicle or your safety. Bring your car to a dependable auto body repair shop like Elmer’s Auto Body.
Our technicians will inspect your vehicle from the inside out to make sure that all issues are dealt with quickly. We’ll get you back on the road again soon. Call to schedule an appointment today or to chat with our friendly team.