He Short-Stopped! Am I At Fault?

He Short-Stopped! Am I At Fault?

Many times drivers in Los Angeles are faced with this stressful scenario–the car ahead of you slams on his brakes, forcing you to do the same.  Often, it’s too little too late, and before you know it, your car looks like the one in this picture.

So the question is, if the driver ahead of you short-stops and you hit him, are you liable, or is he?

As a general rule, the Vehicle Code requires every car to maintain a safe following distance.  You should not follow the car ahead of you too closely because you need to be prepared for contingencies such as short-stops.  In fact, the Los Angeles Police Department says that this is one of the most frequent causes of Los Angeles car accidents.

We all learned as teenagers the importance of the three-second rule.  It’s a great habit to follow and can decrease your chances of being in a rear-end collision. Give yourself three seconds between the car ahead of you and your own car.

There are exceptions to the general rule mentioned above.  Cars are not allowed to stop at green lights or on the freeway, unless they are complying with a traffic officer, yielding to an emergency vehicle, or there is another safety hazard such as a vehicle malfunction.

For questions about your rights or obligations as a Los Angeles driver or your car accident case, do not hesitate to call or email your LA car accident lawyer.