One of the most common types of accidents on the road is a rear-end collision. These types of collisions can be extremely dangerous, often resulting in severe injuries or even fatalities.
Rules of The Road
There are a few things to consider when determining who is at fault in a rear-end collision. First, let’s look at the basic rules of the road. Drivers are required to maintain a certain following distance behind the car in front of them so that they have time to stop if necessary. This following distance is usually based on the speed limit; the faster you’re going, the greater the distance should be. If a driver fails to maintain a safe following distance and rear-ends another car, they will likely be found at fault.
In most states, the minimum following distance is three seconds. This means that you should be able to count “one thousand one, one thousand two, one thousand three” between the time the car in front of you passes a fixed point, and the time your car passes that same point. If you can’t, you’re following too closely.
Frequency and Common Causes
According to a study shared by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), rear-end crashes account for around 29% of all collisions that involve severe injuries or fatalities. This is a startling statistic, and it’s important to understand the dangers of rear-end collisions in order to help avoid them.
The researchers in charge of this study found that the majority of these crashes resulted while the lead vehicle was completely stopped or was moving at a slow speed.
There are other factors that can come into play when determining who is at fault in a rear-end collision. For example, if the driver who was rear-ended had just made a sudden stop, the driver behind may not have had time to react and could be considered at fault. Likewise, if the driver behind was speeding or otherwise driving recklessly, they may be found at fault even if they were maintaining a safe following distance.
Can The Lead Driver be at Fault?
Absolutely. Referencing the information from the same study by the NHTSA, they found that, while it is rare, the lead driver in a rear-end collision can be at fault. Generally, when they are at fault, they found that the top reasons were due to:
- Driving erratically under the influence of drugs/ alcohol
- Merging ahead of another vehicle without providing enough room.
- Turning into traffic without enough room
- Backing into the vehicle behind them
The driver of the front vehicle may be held liable for any damages or injury sustained to the victim if they are found to be at fault.
Immediately After the Crash
If you’re involved in any collision, the first thing you should do is call the police and exchange insurance information with the other driver.
After you’ve done that, it’s time to start building your case. First, get medical attention if you need it. This will not only help you feel better, but it will also create a record of your injuries. You should also take pictures of the damage to both vehicles, as well as any visible injuries you have. Finally, make sure to get the contact information of any witnesses who saw the accident.
With this evidence, your lawyer will be able to build a strong case on your behalf. If the other driver was at fault, you may be able to recover compensation for your medical bills, property damage, lost wages, and more.
Seek The Help of an Attorney
If you have been involved in a motor vehicle accident, it is important to seek the help of an experienced attorney as soon as possible. At Friedman Law Offices, we will be able to investigate the accident and gather evidence to support your claim. We will also negotiate with the insurance company on your behalf to ensure that you receive the compensation you deserve. Contact us today to get started on your case.