Representing roughly one-third of all accidents, the rear-end collisions are the most common type of motor vehicle crashes every year in the country. With most rear-end accidents occurring at lower speeds and causing minor structural damage, the seemingly minor cosmetic damage can actually by camouflaging more serious damage that can increase safety risks down the road. Today, we at Top Notch Auto Body & Mechanics would like to take the opportunity to elaborate on these hidden damages caused by rear-end collisions.
What Causes Rear End Accidents?
Within the United States, according to traffic safety experts, rear-end collisions occur over 2 million times per year. In the event the tailing driver had one extra second of warning time over 80% of those crashes could be avoided. The primary sources of rear-end collisions include traffic congestion, speeding, mechanical failure, distracted drivers, fatigued drivers, reckless or aggressive driving techniques, as well as driving while under the influence of alcohol or drugs.
Can Getting Rear Ended Damage Transmission, Engine or Other Components?
The dirty little secret about rear-end collisions lies beneath the surface, despite the cosmetic damage to your vehicle that may seem negligible. Below are a few hidden problems that involve a minor front-to-rear accident.
1) Transmission damage. The mechanical components can be equally harmed with your car’s body due to a rear-end collision. Even during a low-impact crash, the transmission components located near the rear of all-wheel-drive (AWD) or rear-wheel drive (RWD) vehicles can get damaged. Your vehicle could start shifting roughly, leaking transmission fluid, or experience poor acceleration should the transmission isn’t checked out immediately after an accident.
2) Alignment Concerns. Simply hitting a pothole can knock your car out of alignment, so experiencing a rear-end collision can definitely do some damage. Your alignment may be off in the event your ride starts pulling to one side of the road, vibrates abnormally, or if there’s a shimmy in the steering wheel. Poor handling issues can be the result of premature wear and tear to your tires, brakes, suspension and other parts due to a misaligned vehicle.
3) Electrical Damage. Wiring for your battery, brake lights, taillights or starter can potentially loosen, even with minor impact. The twitchy brake lights can confuse and distract drivers in addition to any loose engine wire could leave you stranded.
4) Impaired Trunk. The trunk’s locking mechanism and seal can get messed up in seemingly slight impacts from rear-end collisions. The trunk lid may even pop open while you’re traveling down the highway, water could leak into the storage compartment, or you could have trouble opening the trunk if left unrepaired.
5) Frame Damage. The metal components directly underneath are not protected beneath most bumpers since they are only painted plastic. Future safety problems, such as an on-board driver warning system malfunction or weakened frame that doesn’t protect you during a subsequent collision are probable with minor fender benders that may slightly bend vehicle’s frame.
Exhaust System. While a rear end collision is not likely to result in engine damage, there are damages that can impact your car’s drivetrain. For examlpe, the impact can shove the exhaust system forward, which can then cause result in damage to the exhaust manifold, catalytic converter, engine mounts, or a “Y” pipe which runs into your car’s engine.
How Can You Prevent Rear End Collisions?
Follow the advice below to reduce the chances of a rear-end collision.
– If you’re feeling tired, or switch drivers, pullover and take a break.
– Especially in construction zones, be sure to obey all posted speed limits.
– Do not drive and text.
– Based on weather conditions and speed, maintain a safe following distance.
– Get your vehicle inspected and maintained by a mechanic several times a year.
– Never drive while under the influence of drugs, medication, or alcohol.
– Invest in a vehicle with an accident-avoidance system.