Why Do Rear-End Collisions Happen in St. Pete and Who’s To Blame? 

 Unfortunately, rear-end collisions are all too common when it comes to car accidents. Knowing why they occur can help you avoid one. If you do happen to experience one, you and the other driver may have to sort out who is to blame. Determining fault largely depends on the circumstances of the crash, but there are commonalities as well.

Why Rear-End Crashes Occur in St. Pete

With over 14,000 vehicle crashes every year, Pinellas County and St. Pete are among the most dangerous areas for motorists and their passengers. Rear-end crashes make up a large percentage of those 14,000 crashes, with many of them causing injury and even death. Most of these accidents have the same causes, and negligence or recklessness is often involved.


Intentional or unintentional tailgating is dangerous because it reduces a driver’s time to react if the driver in front stops or slows abruptly. In some cases, tailgating is permitted, such as in stop-and-go traffic. However, at normal speeds, it is unlawful and one of the top causes of rear-end accidents. On the highway, it becomes deadly, especially on highways with stop signs and traffic signals. 


Speeding also shortens a driver’s time to stop or take evasive action. Sadly, it is one of the most cited moving violations and directly leads to rear-end and other types of collisions. Because of the velocity involved in many rear-end car crashes, victims often suffer serious injuries and fatalities. 

Driving While Distracted

Some drivers feel they are capable of operating their vehicle while engaging in other activities, such as texting, posting, and reading their phones. 

However, the numbers are quite clear that humans cannot safely drive a car when distracted. Looking away from the road for even a split second is enough time for a traffic situation to change. Looking back might reveal a stopped or slowed vehicle that suddenly appeared out of nowhere. 

Aggressive Driving

Road rage is common these days. Unfortunately, it has led to an increase in car accidents and injuries. Often, an angry driver will drive right up to the rear bumper of another in a threatening fashion. This maneuver leaves them zero time to stop or swerve in the event of a sudden slowdown or stop.

Driving in Unsafe Conditions

You can’t avoid what you can’t see, no matter how slow you drive. And slippery conditions can lead to a complete loss of vehicle control. If it is extremely foggy, rainy, or icy, it’s often better to stay off the roads to avoid rear-ending someone all of a sudden. 

Blame for Rear-End Crashes

Most people think that rear-end crashes are always the fault of the rear-end driver, and they usually are. However, there are instances when someone else might be held liable for the car accident. Keep in mind as well that you’ll need to go through your no-fault, PIP coverage unless the accident was especially serious, as per Florida law

For example, if a driver negligently stops in the middle of the road suddenly and is rear-ended, the person who hit them may not be at fault at all unless they were negligent, too. Consider also a rear-ended driver who then rear-ends the driver in front of them. In a case such as this, the fault for the accident will likely lie with the driver who started the chain reaction.

Regardless of how a rear-end collision occurs, drivers should comply with all required laws and rules after the accident, including stopping, exchanging information, and reporting the accident to the police if injury or $500 or more in damage has occurred. Drivers should report any accident they have to be safe, even if no injuries are apparent and the damage threshold has not been met. 

Contact Our Car Accident Law Firm – Lopez Accident Injury Attorneys

Contact a St. Petersburg car accident lawyer at Lopez Accident Injury Attorneys and schedule a free case review today.

Lopez Accident Injury Attorneys

700 7th Ave N Suite B
St. Petersburg, FL 33701
(727) 933-0015