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Which vehicle operator is to blame for a rear-end collision?

On Behalf of | Jan 26, 2024 | Motor Vehicle Accidents |

Fault for a North Carolina car crash often falls to one specific party or another. In the vast majority of cases, someone driving one of the vehicles involved in the collision is to blame for the incident. Sometimes, people rush to conclusions when they hear about a crash without thoroughly considering the circumstances.

Rear-end collisions are a perfect example. People often make assumptions about who is to blame for a rear-end crash, but every rear-end collision involves unique considerations.

Either driver could be at fault

People often assume that the person driving the rear vehicle is the one at fault for a rear-end crash. They rush to this conclusion in part because North Carolina has a law that requires drivers to maintain a safe following distance in traffic.

Drivers typically need to stay far enough back to stop at any point without striking the vehicle in front of them. The following distance someone maintains depends on the speed that they travel, the ability of the vehicle they drive and the weather conditions. Many rear-end crashes occur because someone fails to leave enough space between their vehicle and another vehicle in heavy traffic. In that situation, the driver of the rear vehicle is very likely at fault for the collision.

However, the driver in the front vehicle might also be to blame for the crash. Those who fail to use their turn signals might be liable for rear-end collisions. Improperly maintaining a vehicle could also lead to fault for a rear-end collision if brake lights or turn signals don’t work.

Finally, aggressive driving, including merging too close to another vehicle or turning into oncoming traffic, might cause a rear-end crash where the front driver is technically the party at fault for the collision.

Ultimately, carefully reviewing the situation leading to a wreck can help people better determine who may be liable for a crash. Once this determination is made, victims can make informed decisions about pursuing legal action.