Experienced New York motorists may know that rear-end accidents are one of the most relevant road risks they face. These accidents present a real danger to motorists because they often happen while one driver is stationary or moving slowly, and the other driver is traveling much faster. It can also be more challenging than most people think to assess blame for a rear-end accident.
Prevalence of rear-end accidents
One study showed that rear-end accidents account for nearly one in three car accidents that cause serious injury to accident victims. Rear-end accidents also cause 7% of the fatalities that take place on the nation’s roadways. Approximately 20% of all two-car accidents involve one driver running into the back of the other.
Who receives the blame?
The common presumption is that the driver trailing the other car in a rear-end accident is always at fault. This presumption is due to the belief some people hold that rear-end accidents happen only when the trailing driver is either speeding or inattentive to the road in front of them. While the blame will rest with the second driver the majority of the time, there are also times when the lead driver will share responsibility for the accident.
Every driver must provide the car in front of them enough distance for safe travel. This distance is necessary because unexpected circumstances can cause a driver to stop or slow down at any moment. The trailing driver might find it impossible to avoid an accident if they don’t allow this distance, but the lead driver could share responsibility when one or more of the following circumstances occurs:
- The lead driver slams on their brakes for no reason.
- The lead driver reverses the car unexpectedly.
- Brake lights on the lead car are not working.
- The lead driver fails to use a turn signal.
- The lead driver doesn’t use hazard lights when a problem causes slower travel.
No drivers like to think about getting in a crash, but even the most cautious motorists cannot completely eliminate the risk of accidents. Individuals may find it easier to obtain compensation for their accident by consulting with an attorney.