Audi A4 - Rear end crash - Tomsolomon111

Hi guys I need some advice. I rear ended a car yesterday at speed. We were traveling on a straight road towards a left hand turn off and the two cars in front slowed down using engine breaking, no break lights. They were in convoy and missed their turn. I preemted the engine break to a certain extent and managed to slow down before the collision but my breaking distance was reduced due to having no indication that the car in front was slowing down. Then the unbelievable happened. Both cars tried to turn left without indicating and braked sharply. I had no room to stop. I am not sure if the car I hit, hit the car in front but everything came to a grinding halt. I hit the car in front at around 30mph on a 60mph road, The impact was enough to completely write off both cars. The front car fled the scene and my family ended up in A&E for four hours for mainly minor injuries. The two cars in front were clearly driving without due care and attention. I would have had plenty of time to stop for the junction if they had braked correctly and indicated their intentions. I have witnesses in my favour. How do I stand?

Edit: My bad. They braked sharply not breaked.

Edited by Tomsolomon111 on 28/12/2014 at 08:39

Audi A4 - Rear end crash - Simon

You stand to lose your no claims bonus!!! You should always drive so that you can stop within the distance that you can see, basic rule of the road even though the vast majority of us don't practice what we preach. Either way regardless of who did or didn't do what, you have caused the accident by hitting the other car up the rear. If your family all went to A&E too, then I think that you are lucky that YOU are not being charged with driving without due care and attention.

Audi A4 - Rear end crash - Tomsolomon111

I was driving diligently. I can not be held responsible for a driver in front of me not following the highway code and driving dangerously. Surely!

Audi A4 - Rear end crash - bathtub tom

Afraid Simon's right. There's no excuse for running into the back of the car in front, however.........

You say the first car disappeared, sharpish. It's a common insurance scam to remove or disable the brake lights and then create the scenario you describe. Did you make a careful note of how many occupants were in the car you hit (and could claim whiplash)? Whereabouts in the country did this happen and how would you describe the occupants?

As you were taken to hospital, the police would also be involved. This could be in your favour, if it is a scam.

Audi A4 - Rear end crash - Tomsolomon111

There were four adults in the car, foriegn nationals as far as I could accertain. We were south of Telford. The police were involved. I'm fairly sure the two cars were together.

Audi A4 - Rear end crash - brighteyes
The fact that the car in front of you may have been using engine braking is irrelevant, the fact is that you should have noticed that the distance between you and it was diminishing for whatever reason and taken appropriate action to maintain a safe distance. I wouldn't be in least surprised if, once the situation has been considered by the CPS, that you receive a summons for " driving without due care and attention".
Audi A4 - Rear end crash - Tomsolomon111

I have spoken to one of the other witnesses, the car i hit, did hit the car in front and came to an abrupt stop. Apparently several people witnessed the whole thing.

Audi A4 - Rear end crash - RT

As others have said, running into the back of someone is an absolute 100% your fault - except in the unlikely circumstance that they pulled out of a side road in front of you or reversed into you, neither of which happened here.

The lack of their brake light doesn't remove your responsibility to drive within a speed that you can stop in the distance you can see to be clear.

I hope everyone is recovering from their injuries - as the police have been involved you may well find it's you on the careless driving charge - and trying to convince a magistrate it was all their fault is likely to get a higher fine and higher points.

That's not the opinion you wanted to hear but we can only tell it like it is.

Edited by RT on 28/12/2014 at 12:57

Audi A4 - Rear end crash - Dwight Van Driver

But RT what about this:

I refer you to case law- Scott v Warren (1974) when defendant driving in a line of moving traffic was unable to avoid hitting the van in front which had made an emergency stop to avoid hitting a piece of metal which had fallen off a lorry in front of the van. The Magistrates dismissed the case and it was suggested on the hearing of the case stated before the High Court that if a driver did not leave sufficient space between himself and the vehicle in front to avoid a collision then the defendant was guilty of careless driving as he would be in breach of the Highway Code. The Divisional Court disagreed, holding that whether a person had driven carelessly is primarily a matter of fact: the duty of a driver following another vehicle was, as far as reasonably possible, to take up such a position and to drive in such a fashion as to be able to deal with all traffic exigencies REASONABLY expected.

It is automatically assumed by many that in rear end shunts the shunter is guilty of careless driving . Not so if the one in front takes some unindicated and unpredicable action that leads to an accident then that is not careless driving by the back marker.

dvd

Audi A4 - Rear end crash - RT

DVD - your knowledge and experience is these matters is way superior to mine - but drivers relying solely on brake lights from vehicles in front are likely to hit a few without working brake lights over their driving lifetime.

Audi A4 - Rear end crash - Avant

Thanks for that, DVD. It's good to know that there are occasional exceptions to what I agree is the general rule, that you should drive far enough away from the vehicle in front to be able to stop.

But English law operates to uphold that which is reasonable, and there are cases where people stop or brake sharply without warning and for no obvious reason.

As one who now uses the A303 regularly, I know that braking to gawp at Stonehenge is one particuarly stupid reason. At least I'm expecting it and keep even further behind than usual.

Audi A4 - Rear end crash - Tomsolomon111

It is good to know that not everyone out there would automatically go straight to a no win no fee solicitor, if anybody so much as looked at them in a manner that displeased them! ;-)

I am merely suggesting that the vehicle in front used, engine braking, hand brake, or a combination of both and the car in front of them was there to slow it down further. There were "no" brake lights. The car behind me managed to stop in good time with my brake lights showing there was about the same distance between myself and the front car as the distance between my car and the car behind. As I said before. I was driving diligently, I had preempted the the junction and already slowed down from the prescribed speed limit. If I had not have reacted as quickly as I had, the collision could have been much worse. This is obviously a police matter and not an internet forum matter. But thanks for your input guys.

Audi A4 - Rear end crash - RT

The car behind me managed to stop in good time with my brake lights showing there was about the same distance between myself and the front car as the distance between my car and the car behind.

Playing devil's advocate - might that suggest that you didn't brake hard enough? If the car behind you managed to "stop in good time" and yet you hit the car hard enough to write off two cars and cause injuries needing hospital attendance then something isn't right.

Audi A4 - Rear end crash - Tomsolomon111

My brakes were full on. The audi has ABS.

Audi A4 - Rear end crash - Brit_in_Germany

Is it true that an expert can tell if the brake lights were on after a rear end shunt? I would have thought that if a glowing filament bulb is shattered there may be metal vaporisation. Presumably, this no longer applies if the brake lights are leds.

Audi A4 - Rear end crash - Bromptonaut

Is it true that an expert can tell if the brake lights were on after a rear end shunt? I would have thought that if a glowing filament bulb is shattered there may be metal vaporisation. Presumably, this no longer applies if the brake lights are leds.

Such techniques were used in aircrash investigations way back when, probably as long ago as the fifties. Whether they're available now in a fairly routine minor injury smash I don't know.

Audi A4 - Rear end crash - motorclaimguru

Yes , we can tell of the filaments, but we dont need to on modern cars, we can tell by plugging into the onboard diagnostics, and find out exactly what was going on.

Audi A4 - Rear end crash - Bromptonaut

My brakes were full on. The audi has ABS.

In which case it will be a serious struggle to avoid the assertion of too close/lack of anticipation. If the car ahead had stopped suddenly for something completely unnexpected, say an animal suddenly appearing from the undergrowth, it might be different. Another driver's slowing without immediate braking isn't going to cut the mustard.

If OP is lucky Police/CPS will chose not to prosecute for careless. IMHO though it's unavoidable that his insurers will pick up the damage tab with consequences for his premium/NCD etc.

OTOH if there's a real suggestion of 'crash for cash' he needs to make sure insurers are focussed on a proper invesigation.

Audi A4 - Rear end crash - gordonbennet

Whoever is really at fault here i agree the OP's insurer is going to be stumping up.

It does smack of a crash for cash scam though, the lead car clearing off a strong indicator, we can't mention types of people likely to be involved even if it's true, hopefully this will change (too late as usual) as the country deteriorates further.

If the OP is a victim of a claim scam then he isn't the first and definately won't be the last, all the more reason to fit dash cams and to be on your guard at all times.

There is no way that the OP could have triggered ABS operation and the cars in front outbraking him on engine and handbrake deceleration alone (unless they were winter tyred on ice/snow when its feasable) especially given the impact speed differences to write off several vehicles, so either brake lights were out for some reason or the OP didn't notice the closing gap and left his braking far too late to recover or a combination of all.

Edited by gordonbennet on 29/12/2014 at 11:23

Audi A4 - Rear end crash - dacouch

The OP's passengers will be able to sue the OP (His Insurers) for compensation for their injuries.

Audi A4 - Rear end crash - motorclaimguru

it does sound like this was a set up, did you have a on board camera in your vehicle? unfortunatly you will be at fault, but there are things you can do, the area you have mentioned is a hot spot, being not far from Birmingham.

Make your insurer aware that you feel it is a crash for cash scam,ask them to investigate...they will...

Did they change lanes into your lane before slamming the brakes on? if so, there is different case law that applies to the above.

regards

Tim

 

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