Rear-end collisions are among the most common types of vehicle crashes. They happen to millions of American drivers every year.

The impact, even if the collision occurs at low speed, is sufficient to cause whiplash and other spinal problems that could leave victims with lasting medical issues. Here are three examples.

1. Spinal fracture

If you are wearing a seatbelt, it will usually keep the lower half of your body immobilized during a collision. Unfortunately, your upper torso and head are still able to move. These are opposite reactions to the impact of a car crash, which can cause a compression fracture in your spine. Pain and numbness will likely result, and you could also experience muscle weakness and bladder problems. Immobilization and rest are sufficient for some fractures, but others require surgery.

2. Disc herniation

The spinal discs positioned between the vertebrae can shift during impact because they absorb much of the force of a crash. The shifting can compress the nerves and structures nearby, and you will experience numbness or radiating pain. Severely herniated discs may require surgical repair.

3. Spondylolisthesis

This is a condition that results when vertebrae shift due to the impact of a collision, causing a stress fracture. The shift compresses nerves or even the spinal canal, causing pain, numbness and difficulty with walking. If the displacement is extensive, your doctor may advise surgery.

Advancements in technology

Due to the frequency of rear-end collisions, auto manufacturers constantly seek more safety solutions. One of the best safety features available on newer vehicles is the automatic braking system, which issues a warning noise if you come too close to the vehicle in front of you. The ABS has already proven to be extremely effective in helping to prevent rear-end collisions.

The negligent party

Distracted driving is frequently the cause of a rear-end collision. If you become a victim, explore your legal options. If you suffer a spinal injury because of the negligence of another driver, you may be eligible for financial compensation to cover your medical expenses, lost wages and more.