Rear-end crashes in Leesburg, Florida happen pretty frequently. The most common causes of these rear-end collisions are young drivers mixed with older retired drivers, driver distraction, heavy traffic and tailgating. So, what happens after a rear-end car accident and how is fault determined? To find out more, keep reading.
Frequent causes of rear-end accidents?
The number one cause of a rear-end collision is the vehicle behind you tailgates or follows too closely. Florida law is clear that all motorists must maintain a safe driving distance from other vehicles. Generally, drivers are advised to follow the four-second rule when riding behind other vehicles. The four-second rule has to be extended during the rainy season and heavy traffic times.
The number two cause, which goes hand-in-hand with following too closely, is driver distraction. If you are tailgating and distracted that is a perfect recipe for a crash. Drivers can be distracted when eating, texting, talking on their phone, combing their hair, putting on lipstick, talking to passengers or checking on their kids. Distracted drivers react slower when confronted with a danger like another vehicle pulling out of a side street or the vehicle in front stopping short. Driver distraction, when combined with heavy traffic where vehicles make sudden stops, is a special recipe for rear-end collisions.
Who is to blame for the rear-end crash?
Most people have heard at some point that if a car is rear-ended, it is automatically the fault of the driver who did the colliding, regardless of the other driver’s behavior. As a matter of fact, Florida law has a presumption of negligence if a car that is stopped is rear-ended. The presumption can be overcome by additional facts but most of the time the following car will be found at fault. While it’s true that rear-end crashes do tend to be the fault of those in the rear, that is not always the case and there are some exceptions.
What are the exceptions to liability?
If you run into the car in front of you, you may believe that you are responsible for the accident regardless of what the other driver did before the crash. While this is true in most cases, there are exceptions to this rule. The first exception is when the leading car comes to an emergency stop for no apparent reason. A reasonable prudent driver following that vehicle, would not have foreseen that the guy was going to stop his car on the dime, in the middle of the block, for no apparent reason.
Chain reaction crashes
Another type of rear-end collision involves chain reaction crashes. In these cases, people assume that everyone behind the first vehicle is at fault for the accident. This assumption is not always the case. For example, say vehicle 1 is stopped at a red light. Vehicle 2 is coming to a stop in plenty of time behind vehicle 1. Vehicle 3 is slowing down and he is hit full speed by Vehicle 4. The force of vehicle 4 causes Vehicle 3 to hit Vehicle 2 and pushes Vehicle 2 into Vehicle 1. In this example, Vehicle 4 started the chain reaction. There may be some argument that the reason why Vehicle 3 hit Vehicle 2 is that he didn’t leave enough room or hadn’t slowed down quick enough, but odds are that Vehicle 4 will be solely at fault for this crash.