It is possible for either the driver in front or behind to be held liable for damages in the event of a rear-end car crash.

The driver of the rear vehicle is typically determined to be at fault for a rear-end collision in Arizona, as such an accident is usually the result of the driver not paying attention, not slowing down, and not practicing a safe distance between vehicles.

However, though Arizona law presumes that fault rests with the driver of the rear car, sometimes the truth makes clear that the driver of the car in front is actually the one to blame. Arizona law operates under the concept of comparative negligence, stating that either or potentially both parties may find themselves partially at fault for a car accident, which can affect compensation for damages.

In Which Scenarios is the Driver in Front Blamed for Rear-End Collisions?

Though the driver behind is typically assumed to be the one at fault for a rear-ending, the driver at the front could be held liable for the accident under certain circumstances, such as:

  • Brake lights malfunctioned or were broken.
  • Driving while drunk or under the influence of narcotics.
  • Reversing into the car behind them.
  • Sudden, unprompted stops or failures to turn.
  • The driver in front “brake tests” the driver behind them by tapping their brakes unexpectedly.
  • Vehicle breakdown, flat tire, or malfunction which causes them to take up a lane of traffic.

What Negligent Actions Can Lead to a Car Being Rear-Ended?

Rear-enders are among the most common car accidents on the roads of Arizona. Though injuries may be typically minimal, the causes of the crashes are numerous, including:

  • Distracted driving, such as driving while using a phone or while eating.
  • Driving over the speed limit.
  • Driving under the influence.
  • Failure to stop at an appropriate time.
  • Failure to use turn signals.
  • Failure to yield to the right of way.
  • Not paying attention.
  • Not practicing safe distances between vehicles.
  • Road conditions and hazards.
  • Vehicle malfunctions.

If You’re Held Accused of Responsibility, What Should You Do?

While determining the fault of rear-end collisions may seem obvious, sometimes things are more complicated than they at first appear to be. Just like all types of motor accidents, a proper investigation should be performed in order to determine the facts of the matter so that victims receive proper compensation.

If you are being held liable for a rear-end accident, contact a car accident attorney as soon as possible. Your lawyer may be able to argue the facts, defend your rights, and work to secure a more favorable outcome.