Rear-End Collisions in Florida: What You Should Know

traffic jams are a major cause of rear-end collisions

Rear end collisions are the most common sort of car crash that results in a personal injury in Florida. A rear-end accident is an accident where one vehicle fails to stop in time and allows the front end of their own vehicle to strike the rear-end of the car in front of it. 

Many times these collisions will occur because the driver that causes the collision wasn’t paying attention. Or, occasionally, a driver will rear-end the driver in front of them because of that driver stopping suddenly at a stop sign, red light, or traffic obstruction. The point is that rear-end collisions are incredibly common types of car accidents. 

Victims of rear-end crashes often experience injuries. Injury victims should hire an experienced personal injury law firm after a rear-end collision. That is the only way to ensure they will receive fair compensation for their injuries. Knapp Accident & Injury Law is just such a law firm. I have years of experience fighting insurance companies on behalf of clients injured in rear-end collisions.

Common Causes Rear-End Collisions?

According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (“NHTSA”), rear-end collisions are the most frequently occurring type of motor vehicle crash. In fact, they account for approximately 29% of all motor vehicle crashes. In the majority of rear-end crashes, the vehicle in front is stopped or moving very slowly. Below is a list of some of the most common causes of rear-end accidents:

  • Tailgating – the most common cause of rear-end crash is when one vehicle is following too closely behind another vehicle. When someone tailgates another car, they reduce the amount of stopping distance they have when the lead vehicle stops suddenly. 
  • Speeding – similar to tailgating, speeding makes it difficult to stop when the lead car stops suddenly. Driving schools usually teach that we ought to allow one car length between our vehicle and the vehicle in front of us for every ten miles per hour we are driving. Therefore, if we are driving 40 mph, we should leave 4 car lengths between our vehicle and the vehicle in front of ours. When we speed, we ought to allow more room between vehicles. However, many people do not follow this guideline.
  • Distracted driving – I have discussed distracted driving at length in this blog. However, it bears mentioning that when a driver is not paying attention to the road, they will not be able to brake as quickly as necessary when the vehicle in front of them stops suddenly. Cell phones are some of the biggest causes of this issue.
  • Bad weather – wet roadways (often caused by rain) can be slippery. When road conditions are slippery, it takes cars longer to stop. This added stopping distance makes rear-end collisions more likely.
  • Poor vehicle maintenance – if a vehicle owner fails to properly maintain their vehicle, the vehicle will be less likely to stop in time when the vehicle in front of it stops suddenly. You should always maintain your vehicle and its tires and braking systems.
  • Drinking and driving – when a driver has consumed alcohol, their reaction time is increased. If a driver takes longer to react to a vehicle stopping in front of them, they are more likely to rear-end that vehicle. Do not drink and drive.

This list is by no means meant to be exhaustive of the causes of rear-end collisions. However, these are some of the most common causes of rear-end crashes. If you avoid these behaviors, you are far less likely to be the cause of a rear-end accident.

Who is At-Fault in a Rear-End Collision?

In a rear-end collision in Florida, there is a “rebuttable presumption” about liability. That presumption is that the person whose vehicle’s front end strikes the rear of the other vehicle is at-fault. However, because this presumption is rebuttable, the rear vehicle can present evidence to prove that the lead vehicle was at-fault for the crash.

These types of analyses are very fact intensive. In practice, in a rear-end collision, the rear vehicle that causes damage to the vehicle in front of it will likely be found at-fault for the crash.

Hire Knapp Accident & Injury Law

If you’ve been involved in a rear-end collision and you are injured, you need an attorney that will fight for you. Call Knapp Accident & Injury Law today to help get you the compensation you deserve. We offer free consultations 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. Call us today at (813) 568-3724.

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