Is A Rear-End MVA Always The Rear Driver’s Fault In NJ?

judgeIn most incidents in NJ, the rear driver involved in a rear-end MVA will be at fault, even if the front driver is technically at fault, unless you have a witness – or the responding officer – which can prove otherwise. A reader recently related to TLS that his friend was involved in an MVA here in Lakewood when a driver stopped too far into an intersection at a red light, and then backed up and hit the vehicle in back of him. The officer who responded to the accident, issued the rear driver a summons for the MVA, being that is was a rear-end accident, and this is NJ.

However, had the rear driver had a dash-cam for example, or a witness, he may have avoided the summons and whatever other costs were involved, (insurance premiums etc.) It will now have to be fought in court.

Another scenario where you would be exempt from any fault in a rear-end MVA, would be if the vehicle in front of you stops suddenly for no good reason with non-working brake lights. But again, you would have to prove that.

If you were in the unfortunate circumstance of being involved in an MVA, you’re not done yet. You may still receive a summons from the local police department. That’s not required by State law, but was recently reinforced by the Lakewood Police Department.

“The incidents requiring Officers to issue summonses, are in accidents with significant damage, accidents resulting in bodily injury or when one driver is clearly at fault”, Chief Lawson in an earlier interview. “All other times, it is at the Officer’s discretion to issue a summons”.

Rear-end collisions have increased with the use of cell phones. More drivers are texting while driving and facing other distractions, and don’t notice the vehicle in front of them, until they’re in their truck.

In fact, The National Safety Council announced several months ago that it estimates at least 28% of all traffic crashes – or at least 1.6 million crashes each year – are caused by drivers using cell phones and texting. NSC estimates that 1.4 million crashes each year are caused by drivers using cell phones and a minimum of 200,000 additional crashes each year are caused by drivers who are texting. The announcement came on the one-year anniversary of NSC’s call for a ban on all cell phone use and texting while driving. TLS-CCP.


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There are 20 Comments to "Is A Rear-End MVA Always The Rear Driver’s Fault In NJ?"

  • Copper says: says:

    I seriously disagree that any Police Officer in Lakewood or anywhere else would issue a summons to a driver who was backed into by another driver. This is not a normal “rear end” collision. Maybe a summons was issued to the driver who got backed into because he/she did not have proper documentation or their license was suspended.

    Most of the time the driver in the second vehicle is at fault because they should always maintain a safe distance from the vehicle to stop FOR ANY REASON and at any time. If they hit the vehicle in front of them then it is their fault. Unlike the example used in the article, when they may have been stationary and the vehicle in front backed into them.

  • anonymous says:

    No witness, no proof that the car in front backed up! Therefore the car in the rear gets the ticket.

  • Stumped says:

    Does this mean if I don’t like the guy behind me, I should just back up into him & he will be the one to get a ticket & get hit with the insurance bill??!?!?

  • ymtheman says:

    to #3,it means if your thinking as childish as that u don’t belong driving!

  • PresCandidate says:

    …..Chief Lawson in an earlier interview. “All other times, it is at the Officer’s discretion to issue a summons”.

    I hate that phenomenon. That is where you get to learn who the decent officers are and who the rotten apples are. It isn’t really fair. Everything should have clear guidelines.

  • Lights Out says:

    Make sure your brake lights work and use your turn signals. If you get slammed and those items aren’t functioning it won’t work in your favor. The cops won’t replace your bulbs.

  • Always right says:

    Maintain a safe distance between you and the car ahead of you. Don’t text, don’t talk on the phone, and don’t eat pizza while you’re driving.

  • Anonymous says:

    we should all be happy for officer discretion. If the law was set in stone you would always be issued a summons. The books say this is the law and this is the punishment, an officer with discretion takes that law and translates it into each individual event and determins if the law and its punishment fits what occured. An officer without discretion comes to any particular event and some one either gets locked up or gets a ticket. Period.

  • Eisav says:

    By us, hamotzi mechaveiro alov lehavie rayah.
    Derocheho darchei Noam.

  • gangs says:

    lock them up and blow them up

  • Ifiknewthen says:

    I was involved in a chain reaction collision. I was third of four stopped cars at a lite. A truck lost it’s brakes and slammed into the car behind me which caused me to hit the car in front of me etc. I thought I would have to look to the car behind me for restitution and the car in front of me would look to me. But the truck was held liable for all four vehicles. They caused the other vehicles to hit the one in front of them. The officer did not ticket the truck since it was evident the brake fluid had leaked out causing the brakes to fail.

  • anonymous says:

    #6 This is Lakewood, are you kidding.

  • Mr Respect says:

    If you would just treat our officers with respect and as another human. Treat them like you would want to be treated and remember they have a job to do. If you do get a ticket smile say thank you for when god forbid bullets do fly he will always be there to protect you. you just might see a whole different side of them.

  • am haeretz says:

    im glad there is no better news . now lakewood scoop is peoples court

  • have a camera says:

    The ONLY protection is to have a camera running on your dashboard. I was driving on route 9 south at 40 mphand a car pulled out from a store directly in front of me and I hit him. I literally had no time to stop, this has nothing to do with following too closely. His insurance denied my claim, saying I should have stopped, regardless of the situation. I had a dash cam, send in the video and they immediately reversed their decision and paid for all my damages, medical expenses, etc.

  • Chaim says:

    have a dash cam installed & ur covered’

  • anon says:

    I was just wondering who is going to testify at the hearing for that summons issued by the responding officer to the mva?

  • local piney says:

    i must have touched a raw nerve with my post that wasn`t posted.

  • anon says:

    In 2005, when LPD was prosecuting our kehila, someone rear-ended me. The LPD officer who responded wrote that it was my fault because somehow the officer thought that I have turned into left lane. Also, the officer claimed that the other vehicle was disabled and town while I have seen that vehicle driven away. But that was then…

  • To have a camera says:

    Can you suggest a good cam?

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