Rear-End Collisions

July 2, 2020

According to an article in the Washington Post, there are approximately 1.7 million rear-end collisions on U.S. roadways each year. About 17,000 people die in such collisions and another 500,000 are injured. According to the Insurance Information Institute’s Facts + Statistics, rear-end collisions account for approximately 7.2% of fatal crashes. About 29% of all vehicle collisions are rear-end collisions, making this the most common type of collision.

Many of these rear-end collisions can be avoided by vehicle drivers. If you have been injured in a rear-end collision, an Easton accident attorney can help.

Who Is At Fault In a Rear-End Collision?

Most people believe that the driver of the following car, with collision damage to the front end of the vehicle, is automatically at fault in a rear-end collision. This is often true, in that the driver of the following car will be assigned at least some, and quite often all, of the fault. 

The reasoning behind assigning fault to the driver of the following car is that such drivers are following too closely for the conditions. All drivers have a legal duty to follow at a safe distance, even considering adverse weather conditions or the sudden recognition of an object in the road by the lead driver, requiring quick and severe braking. Driving too closely to the car in front of you is often referred to as “tailgating.” 

Still, at least partial fault may be assigned to the driver of the leading car under certain circumstances, such as:

  • Suddenly reversing.
  • Brake light failure.
  • Turn signal failure.
  • Other mechanical failures or stoppages without the use of hazard lights.
  • Sudden deceleration using turn signals and then failing to execute the turn. 

How to Avoid Rear-End Collisions

If you are the leading car driver, there’s not too much you can do to prevent another driver from tailgating you. If you see another driver aggressively tailgating you, your best option is to find the nearest safe spot alongside the road, pull over, and let the following driver pass you.

If you are the driver of the following car, distracted driving is by far the most common cause of rear-end collisions, and your cell phone is the most common culprit. Do not text or talk without hands-free. Also avoid eating, adjusting your radio, climate controls, or other vehicle systems, and keep interaction with passengers to a minimum.

Furthermore, do not drive aggressively or engage in “road-rage” disputes, do not drive when you are fatigued, increase the distance between your car and the lead car in bad weather, and above all, do not drive when you are impaired.

This “safe” distance between you and the car in front of you can generally be determined by the so-called “Two-Second Rule.” Using this simple technique, you identify a fixed object, such as a lamppost or road sign, and count off two seconds from the time that the car in front of you moves past the object. If less than two seconds pass when you reach the fixed object, you are driving too closely.

Contact an Easton Accident Attorney at Drake, Hileman & Davis

If you or a loved one have been involved in a rear-end collision, it’s important that you make sure the fault is not unfairly placed on you, whether you are the lead car driver or the following car driver. For this, you need the help of an Easton accident attorney at Drake, Hileman & Davis. Your insurance company will try to settle your case as cheaply as possible, but our attorneys understand the law surrounding rear-end collisions and can help you with any insurance or legal claims you may have.

The attorneys at Drake, Hileman & Davis can help you understand the rules and examine your options if you have been involved in an accident. If you need our help contact us online.