Who Is At Fault For A Rear-End Collision?

According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, rear-end crashes make up about 30% of all car accidents in the US. It is often presumed that the driver in the rear is the one who is liable for the damages because they crashed into the driver ahead of them. This is usually true because the rear driver should maintain a safe distance from the driver ahead of them. The rear driver may be wrong because they were:


Drivers who speed break traffic laws and put other drivers in danger. Because they are moving quickly, they have less time to react to other drivers and obstacles on the road. A speeding car takes two or three times longer to slow down compared to non-speeding cars. 


For safety reasons, drivers need to provide ample space between them and the driver ahead of them. It is recommended that there is a 3-second safety cushion between vehicles. Impatient drivers might follow too closely and not be able to react or brake in time. 

Driver Distraction

The rear driver may have been talking to other car passengers, texting, making phone calls, putting makeup on, or engaging in other distracting behavior. Because they weren’t paying attention to the road, they bumped into the car ahead of them when they didn’t brake in time. 


Drivers should refrain from drinking before hitting the road. They also shouldn’t be under the influence of drugs because it greatly impairs their ability to drive. Even prescription medicine is discouraged if it can lead to drowsiness. 


After a long day of work, drivers may be tired, which can make them more prone to making mistakes or even falling asleep at the wheel. 

Bad Weather

Rain, ice, and sleet can create dangerous driving conditions because the traction of car tires is much lower than in dry conditions. It is recommended that drivers keep a 4 to 5-second cushion between them and the car ahead of them during poor weather. 

Ways A Rear End Driver Is Not At Fault

In some cases, a rear driver may not be at fault for the injuries of the front driver. These are some of the circumstances where the following driver might not be at fault: 

The Front Driver Was Reversing

If the front driver reverses without warning, they could be at fault for an accident that happens because of that. If they reversed and hit the rear driver, the rear driver might not be held responsible. 

Substance Abuse

If a driver brakes suddenly and unnecessarily because they are impaired by drugs or alcohol, then it could be decided that they were responsible for the vehicle behind them crashing into them 

Unnecessary Braking

If the front driver keeps braking in the middle of the road without warning, this can make them at fault for the accident. Drivers should not engage in brake checking on public roads. 

Broken Brake Lights 

The rear driver may not know when to stop or slow down if the front driver’s brake lights don’t activate. If the brake lights aren’t working correctly, this can be confusing and cause an accident. 

What Are The Next Steps?

Your rear-end collision attorney takes over your settlement case and will be proactive about negotiating fair compensation with the other party and their insurance company. Our firm is determined to make sure you receive proper compensation for your injuries and will do our best to obtain an amount that accurately reflects how badly you’ve been wounded. We represent your case using the evidence you provide, in addition to evidence we find during our investigation. To learn more about the process and how to get started, speak to a competent rear-end collision lawyer today. Contact Georgia Trial Firm for a free consultation. 

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