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Are you responsible for a crash if you hit the brakes?

On Behalf of | Jun 25, 2021 | Car Accidents

You’re driving home from work when you approach a green light. Before you pass through, the light turns yellow. 

You’re just far enough away that you either have to speed up to make it through the light or you have to slam on the brakes to stop in time. Not wanting to break the speed limit or run a red light, you opt for the latter. 

When you hit your brakes, though, the driver behind you runs into the back of your car. They get out and they’re irate, saying you should have gone through the light and that you were responsible for the crash. 

Is this accurate?

The wreck is likely not your fault

In almost every single case like this, no matter how angry the rear driver is that the front driver hit the brakes, the fault actually lies with that rear driver. You are not at fault. 

The reasoning is simple: At all times, drivers are supposed to stay far enough back that they can stop in an emergency without hitting the car ahead of them. If they fail to do that, they have caused the accident. 

Remember, yellow lights aren’t the only reason people slam on the brakes. Something unexpected could lead to a crash. For instance, a dog could run into the road, or a child could chase a ball into traffic. No matter what, drivers are supposed to know that they won’t get rear-ended when trying to stop. The other driver’s frustration is understandable, but just because they made a mistake and caused the rear-end crash. 

Seeking proper compensation following a wreck

If you get injured in the accident, then you may need to seek compensation for medical bills and other costs. An experienced advocate can protect your interests as you move forward.