Nothing can mess up a driver’s day more than a rear-end collision. One of the worst parts of getting hit from behind is that it’s usually not your fault, and it could happen to anyone no matter how good of a driver they might be.
When a rear-end collision happens, it’s crucial to manage our emotions and reaction to the problem. Whatever the case may be, it’s essential to note every little bit of rear-end damage that your car may have suffered.
In this article, we’re going to help you understand the kind of damage you must look out for after a rear-end collision.
What Happens When a Vehicle Hits Your Car from Behind?
Alright, so let’s go through a typical sequence of events that takes place when a car hits you from behind.
Perhaps you're just minding your own business, idling at a red light, or driving down a road to your destination. All of a sudden, you hear and feel the loud impact. Although you're disoriented and confused for a few seconds, you quickly figure out that you've just been in a rear-end collision.
First of all, you must pull over to the side of the road and park your car safely. Then, you’ll get down and inspect the collision damage and hopefully have a civil discussion with the person who hit you from behind.
Beyond that, you may need to make a police report and call your auto insurance provider and follow their procedures for dealing with this kind of car accident.
What Kind of Damage Can a Rear-End Collision Cause?
Your car can experience a wide range of rear-end damage, depending on the speed at which both vehicles are travelling and the overall severity of the crash.
At best, you might experience nothing more than a bit of bumper damage. That could be in the form of scratches or maybe a small dent on your rear bumper. Or, there might even be cracks or breaks as well. While bumper damage is still frustrating, at least you won’t have to worry about your car being in the shop for days or weeks of repair.
Still, other types of damage might result from a rear-end collision. These include things like:
The first and most apparent form of rear-end damage is the physical type. When a car hits yours from behind, the bumper will obviously get damaged (that’s its job). But besides that, the vehicle’s frame may also get bent.
Worse yet, your boot or trunk may get bent out of shape, making it difficult to open and close.
Lastly, depending on the intensity of the crash, your rear windshield may also get damaged.
Remember: the rear of your car is where things like your taillights, reverse sensors, and reverse cameras sit. Besides those components suffering from damage, the wiring underneath can also come undone or get snapped entirely.
Believe it or not, getting hit from behind can cause mechanical damage. That might be counter-intuitive for some people (because the engine and everything else is at the front of the vehicle), but it’s true.
You see, a rear-end collision could be strong enough to disrupt your car’s alignment and transmission system. Why? Because your rear wheels can get impacted by a rear-end collision. All of this is especially true if you’re driving a rear-wheel or all-wheel-drive vehicle.
Still, when it comes to collisions like these, there’s a lot of talk about ‘hidden damage’. These are the side effects of a rear-end collision that you may overlook at first. Basically, this refers to damage to the car’s frame that might not be easy to notice at first.
Remember: your rear bumper doesn’t provide much protection to the frame of your car. All it does is absorb some of the impact to minimise the damage.
So, depending on how hard you were hit from behind, the vehicle’s structure may only be bent a little, or it may be so compromised that the rear passenger doors might have a tough time opening.
Why Is It Important to Check for Rear-End Damage?
It’s probably safe to say that all drivers know how to check for rear-end damage whenever they’re involved in a collision. Still, not all drivers may know the exact reasons it’s essential or what might happen if they fail to identify and record the rear-end damage they’ve experienced.
Here are some reasons why all of that is so critical after a rear-end collision.
Fill Memory Gaps
When you find yourself in a rear-end collision, you’ll probably have adrenaline running through your veins. You instantly go into your fight-or-flight mode, and both your senses and your emotions may run a little high.
All of that is a natural response. However, part of that response is also that your memory might not be as sharp as it needs to be.
So, one reason why you'd want to identify and record all damages to the rear end is to ensure that you have something to refer back to later. Once you've calmed down, it's going to be very challenging for you to remember all the accident details clearly.
Besides that, identifying and recording the collision damage your vehicle has suffered will also make it much easier for you to report it to the police and your insurance company. When you’re transparent and detailed with your account of what happened to you and your vehicle, things tend to go a lot smoother with the authorities and insurance companies.
Your memory isn’t the only one that might be clouded after a rear-end collision. Even the person who hit you might not recall the sequence of events accurately, which, again, is a natural response to a high-stress situation like that.
Still, if you know what damage to look for and record, then there’s less and less room for argument from anyone. The facts will speak for themselves.
The sad reality is that a car’s value will go down every time it gets in an accident, regardless of whose fault it is. If the day ever comes when you’ll want to sell your car, you’ll want to be transparent and provide the buyer with details of any damage the vehicle has suffered.
Again, when you know what damage to look for in a rear-end collision, you’ll know what to record. That way, you can be open and honest with any future buyer.
Learn More About Your Car, Straight from CarPartAU!
To find out more about how to become a better car owner in Australia or anywhere else in the world, check out the Blog at Carpart.com.au. There, you’ll discover frequent updates that will teach you everything you need to know about being a better car owner! If you need crash parts or collision part replacements, feel free to ask for a quote through our parts request tool!
By Ray Hasbollah