Myth or Fact: The Rear Driver is Always at Fault


Every year, 1.7 million rear-end collisions are reported in the United States. Out of these accidents, nearly 1,700 fatalities are reported, and 500,000 people are injured due to these accidents.

Before we find out how to determine the person at fault in a rear-end collision, we should find out more about these types of accidents. Once you understand what happens during the collision, you need to file a claim for compensation. However, first things first.

What is a Rear-end Collision?

This type of accident happens when a driver hits the vehicle directly in front o them from behind. If you feel that you have been injured in a rear-end collision and you need to understand your legal options, a lawyer is best placed to assist you.

What Causes Rear-end Collisions?

Most rear-end collisions occur when the car in front stops suddenly, or the car behind is moving faster than the leading car. Here are a few causes of these accidents:


This is one of the most common causes of these accidents. In this situation, a driver follows the leading car too closely, which doesn’t give him enough time and space to stop if the leading car makes an emergency stop.

Distracted Driving

Although preventable, this phenomenon results in thousands of crashes every year. This is when the driver behind you doesn’t pay attention to what is happening on the road. Distracted driving takes the form of texting, talking, or eating while driving. Fatigue and sleep can also contribute to distracted driving accidents.


At high speeds, the reaction time is reduced. High speeds also lead to more severe crashes because the force behind the momentum is greater. This causes more serious injuries, even death.

Poor Weather Conditions

Heavy rain, fog, and ice can affect the control of vehicles on the road. These conditions lead to slippery roads and the effectiveness of your brakes. Sudden movements can lead to skidding and rear-ending the leading vehicle.

Common Injuries from Rear-End Collisions

The most common injuries after a rear-end collision include whiplash, concussions, and spinal cord injuries. These result from the body’s movement upon being hit suddenly from behind. In such a crash, the neck, upper back, and the limbs of the driver or passenger are jolted unnaturally due to the impact, leading to serious injuries.

Who Is At Fault in a Rear-end Collision?

In any rear-end collision; a negligent driver is responsible for the injuries the driver or passengers have sustained. However, the injured victim needs to show beyond reasonable doubt that the defendant was the one at fault.

Many people automatically assume that the motorist in the rear car is the one at fault in these accidents. However, this isn’t usually the case. It is vital for the police, lawyers, and the court to determine who was at fault in an accident.

When the Rear Driver is Negligent

Rear drivers can be at fault due to:

  • Distracted driving
  • Speeding
  • Following too close
  • Aggressive driving
  • Drunk driving
  • Drowsy driving

If you feel that the rear driver is at fault, you need to prove this.

When the Front Driver is at Fault

Distracted driving and fatigue are some of the most common situations that make the front driver cause a rear-end collision. The front driver might be forced to stop suddenly to avoid crashing into the car in front of them.

The front driver might also be taken to fault if they make unnecessary lane changes, cut off other vehicles, or merge into another lane.

Without functional tail lights, the rear driver might not clearly see the car in front, especially at night or during bad weather. Rear-end collisions might also happen if a truck lacks visibility markings, leading to serious collisions.

So, How Can We Help?

To determine who caused the accident, you must collect the relevant evidence to make sure you have the information necessary to show that the other party is at fault. Talk to expert Atlanta car accident lawyer to help you determine this fault. Call us today if you need some help with determining liability and to understand your available legal options.