Unlike in a number of other crash types, rear-end crashes are generally easy to understand and to assign blame for. Usually, it’s the driver in the rear who was not paying attention or who made a mistake that led to a collision.
That doesn’t mean that the rear driver is always to blame, though. Sudden lane changes from a vehicle that pulls in front of another, a sudden, intentional stop or a mechanical error could end up meaning that the driver in the front of the collision is actually at fault.
What should you do if you’re hurt in a rear-end crash (and are the rear driver)?
If you were in the rear and rear-end another vehicle, it’s important that you’re clear about what happened. You can tell the police that the other driver cut you off in traffic or was aggressive with road rage before slamming on their brakes. Let them know if that driver intentionally stopped to cause a crash or maneuvered dangerously in a way that you couldn’t avoid.
How can you prevent rear-end crashes?
As a driver, the best way to avoid rear-end crashes is by paying attention to what’s happening in front of you. Give yourself a vehicle’s length of space between yourself and the next car or truck for every 10 mph of speed when possible. At the very least, try to put three or four seconds of space between your vehicles, so you have plenty of time to maneuver if the vehicle in front of you suddenly stops or brakes.
Not all crashes can be avoided. If you’re involved in a crash and believe that the other driver was at fault, you can look into pursuing compensation.