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3 issues that can cause rear-end crashes in California

On Behalf of | Dec 28, 2023 | Motor Vehicle Accidents

Rear-end collisions are some of the most common kinds of crashes in California. Two vehicles traveling in the same direction collide when one stops or slows down and the other does not. Rear-end crashes can cause broken bones, brain injuries and neck injuries. In some cases, rear-end collisions can even prove fatal.

People often act as though the driver in the rear vehicle is automatically at fault for a rear-end collision, but that is not necessarily the case. Rear-end collisions can occur for a number of different reasons, and sometimes the driver in the front vehicle is to blame. The following are some of the leading causes of rear-end collisions.


Tailgating involves one driver getting far too close to the rear end of the driver in front of them in traffic. Maintaining an appropriate following distance is crucial for traffic safety. Aggressive drivers and those traveling at higher speeds sometimes cause rear-end crashes because they get too close to the vehicle in front of them. Rear-end collisions that result from tailgating are frequently the fault of the driver in the rear vehicle.

Improper merges or turns

Sometimes, rear-end collisions are actually the fault of the driver of the vehicle in front. They may cut someone off in traffic by merging into another lane or turning abruptly without leaving enough space. The other vehicle may not be able to stop in time after that aggressive driver enters their lane of traffic. The driver who merged or turned could very likely be responsible for the crash in that situation.

Burned-out vehicle lights

The last reason for a rear-end crash on this list could also be the fault of the driver of the front vehicle. When people fail to properly maintain their vehicles, that can impact the safety of everyone they encounter in traffic. Burned-out brake lights or turn signals may prevent someone from effectively communicating with others in traffic, which could directly cause a collision.

Given that there are so many variables in play in any car crash, police officers and insurance providers must review the situation carefully to establish fault for these incidents. Understanding what causes certain types of crashes may help people properly allocate fault and, therefore, liability for a crash when one occurs.