Rear-ending Someone Who Slammed Their Breaks: Who’s at Fault?

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Man is calling insurrance company for claiming his car crash damaged on road accident

Rear-ending Someone Who Slammed Their Breaks: Who’s at Fault? No matter how careful of a driver you are, weird accidents in the road do happen. And perhaps one of these weirdest incidents is when the car in front of you suddenly stopped giving you no chances to react, and as a result, a collision occurred between both of your cars.

It may seem like a bit farfetched, but according to National Transportation Safety Board, this kind of road accidents are quite common to happen, as it comprises almost half of the car accidents being recorded on a regular basis.

You might be wondering that there’s nothing to worry about since it’s not uncommon nowadays. But what will you do if you experienced such thing one day only to left confused as to who’s the one responsible? This article will help you find the real culprit.

So, who’s the one at fault?

Basically speaking, the common knowledge is that whoever hits first is the one at fault. This also applies to the rules of the road. One principle, namely the “duty of care” implies that all car owners are purely responsible for practicing a decent amount of care while they are driving. This means that as the driver, you are entitled to be mindful of all the things around you, be it on your back or front.

There are some tactics and safety measures a driver must be aware of in order to avoid rear-end collisions. These are:

  • Taking heed of the rules in the road
  • Having enough skills in maneuvering your car.’
  • Following the mandated speed limits.’
  • Paying attention to the distance of your car to other vehicles
  • Expecting the unexpected behaviors of other drivers

Being unable to observe these safety measures makes you liable for violating the “duty of care,” therefore it is highly unlikely that the law enforcement officials present in the incident will point their fingers on you as the one responsible. There is a high chance that you somehow neglected to follow at least one of the safety measures mentioned above.

If you’re still not convinced that the one who hits first is the one at fault, here’s the main idea of this line of reasoning. If you only have maintained a safe distance between you and the driver who suddenly slammed his brakes, there could have been enough time for you to make some diversion such as putting your car to a stop or immediately dodging the other car. This is why according to the rules of the road, it is the vehicle that made the damage in the first place is the one at fault.

However, there are some exceptions to this rule…

There can still be some scenarios where the one who slammed the brake is the one to blame. Here are the following instances:

  • The car in front of you stopped without any clear warnings, such as the lighting of the brake lights.
  • The car was supposed to take a turn but hesitated and made an immediate stop.
  • The car unexpectedly pulled out of traffic without considering the distance of the cars behind him.


Regardless of who’s at fault, the most important thing both parties must remember is that practicing responsible and safe driving is still the best cure to avoid this kind of accident. Being attentive at all times especially on the other cars around you gives you more assurance that you will never be held liable if anything unexpected happened to you and your trusty vehicle.



Author: erwin reyes

Erwin has a combined experience of more than 15 years in the car insurance industry in the Philippines and Australia. Loves cars and enjoys to sourcing out great deals for its clients