In 2014, over 20% of all Pennsylvania car accidents were rear-end collisions, roughly 27,000 total, with about 80 deaths (Pennsylvania Department of Transportation). This made rear-end car accidents the second most common type of collisions between two vehicles. With so many accidents occurring each year, it is important for drivers to exercise great caution when operating a vehicle on the roads of Pennsylvania. Generally, when a rear-end collision occurs, the rear driver is at fault. There are exceptions to this general rule, and it helps to have an attorney to find out if you have a case.
Exceptions to Rear Driver Fault Assumption in PA
The majority of rear-end collisions in Pennsylvania occur because one vehicle is stopped at a stop sign or traffic light and the rear driver collides with them, making it clearly the rear-driver’s fault. The most common exceptions to the rear driver fault assumption include multi-collision accidents, broken brake lights, and reckless driving/stopping on the part of the front driver.
Whenever there are multiple vehicles involved in a rear-end collision, there is a chain reaction. One car hits the one in front of it, which hits the car in front of it, and so forth.
Broken Brake Lights
If the car in front has no working brake lights or tail lights, then the rear driver may not be at fault.
Reckless Front Driver
If the front driver behaves recklessly when backing out of a parking space or a driveway, then it may not be the rear driver’s fault that the accident occurred.
Learn More About Rear-End Collisions in PA
If you have more questions about rear-end collisions in Pennsylvania, contact an Philadelphia car accident lawyer to discuss the general laws and specifics of your case. A lawyer will usually offer a free consultation with guidance about what to do after a rear end car accident, common injuries associated with these collisions (like whiplash), and whether or not you have a claim against the at-fault driver, whether you are the rear or front driver in the collision.