Rear Ended Car but Not at Fault

Hello all,I know many people have posted accidents and thinking they are not at fault, well this is one of them..:-). So here you go. I will try to explain as much and as short possible but still understandable.

The people:
1. School kid
2. Car in Front "Red" Mazda 6
3. Car Behind "White" Honda Odyssey

Location near suburban school in Ardross, WA around 3:30pm

1. Have dashcam but got overwritten (only captured after the accident)
2. Photos taken at the site
3. Drawing how the accident happened (hopefully clear enough)

Full zebra crossing
Damage to Mazda 6(Note: Car is actually white)

Insurance: I have comprehensive insurance, not sure Mazda.

  1. The Mazda and Honda (behind the Mazda) queuing to turn left (see scene1). Obviously driver would turn their head to the right to see incoming cars. The road was empty at that time.

  2. As the road was empty, the Mazda continues driving but as soon as the car almost come to a full turn, the car comes to a full stopp because the driver saw a school kid about to cross. (According to Mazda driver). The crossing wasn't a full zebra crossing, where car must stop when someone about to cross.

  3. As the Mazda was moving already, the Honda car also moving forward to turn left as well but stopping and looking to the right as well. As the road was also clear, the Honda hit the accelerator while turning left. Unfortunately, this happen at the same time when the Mazda car stopped also which the Honda didn't see. (scene2)

  4. The Honda rear ended the Mazda(scene3). The Honda had no damage (very minor) and the Mazda had rear bumper cracked (see pictures)

1. From the scenario, it seem the car behind is not at fault because the car in front shouldn't have to stop because the crossing was not full zebra crossing.

  1. I know the rear car should have kept a safe distance, but in this case, it won't be possible as the distance from turning left to stopping for the Honda was so short.

  2. If the crossing was full zebra crossing, sure enough, the Mazda had to stop by law as there was someone about to cross. In this case, the school kid was just standing there waiting for the road to clear. When confronting the driver, the Mazda driver was not really defensive either. I think she realize she shouldn't have stopped for no reason in such as short distance. Unless if it was emergency where someone fell to the road or something.


  1. Who is at fault?

  2. If the Mazda is at fault, what do I do in this situation? Do I just tell them, as in this situation is your fault, we will not pay for the damages. What happen if their insurance pursued me with the bill.

  3. Should I contact my insurance to explain this? I am trying to avoid insurance if the repair is less than the excess.

Thank you for the input and I will contact my insurance to get the other car fixed up. Btw, my car has no dent whats so ever.. go figured.

Poll Options

  • 0
  • 2
  • 2
    Red car
  • 278
    white car

closed Comments


    sorry, the polling is failing there.. there should be 4 options..LOL

  • +21 votes
    1. Red car can stop if they think there's a hazard. i.e. a kid that may walk onto the road without thinking. I've personally attended the funeral of a kid who stepped into traffic without thinking. I've also seen enough dash cams to know not to trust anyone.
    2. It's a give way; white car is supposed to give way to all traffic before taking off, not select vehicles.
    3. If it wasn't a give way, white car still isn't supposed to drive into a car that has stopped for a possible hazard.
    4. White car should be looking in both directions before turning. What if the red car had continued on but then the kid stepped out in front of the white car?
    • +1 vote

      What if the red car had continued on but then the kid stepped out in front of the white car?

      The OP has already said what would happen… it isnt a full zebra crossing.


  • +23 votes

    White car failed to drive with due care and attention. Looking what is coming from the right, but not watching what is in front of you is a common thing I see people do all the time.

    Red car stopped because they thought a child was about to cross the road. Kids are unpredictable, and I probably would have done the same.

    • +3 votes

      Not just kids who are unpredictable. There are many full grown adults that do dumb shit all the time which includes stepping out onto traffic. I would post links however they would be removed due to inappropriate content.

  • +32 votes

    White car, your car, is at fault

    and grabs popcorn

  • +1 vote
    1. White is at fault, as already answered by above. To add to this, there could be so many possibilities a car may need to suddenly stop. (Someone was attacking them in the car?, Sudden pain/illness. passenger is having a heart attack, they smell fumes from the engine, the list goes on…..) If you pay attention, it is always 'possible' to keep safe distance.
    2. Red is not at fault in.
    3. 'Unfortunately, this happen at the same time when the red car stopped also which the white car didn't see' Sounds like white car is at fault.

    BTW the link of the damage of the red car links to a white Mazda 6.

  • +6 votes

    You have the white and red cars mixed up. It would be better if you labelled them the car in front, and the car behind.

  • -1 vote
    1. The vehicle in the rear is always at fault.
    2. Contact the insurer, file a claim and let them deal with it.
    • +3 votes

      The vehicle in the rear is always at fault

      Unless the one in the front rolled back and you have dashcam footage/witness.


      The vehicle in the rear is always at fault.

      Not always; that is a common misunderstanding.
      It is often the case that the rear is at fault, but people do crazy things on the road, that can make them at fault, even if they are in front.

      I was witness to a recent example, where the vehicles at the rear were deemed not at fault, by both the police and insurance.
      This was because the car, which was a long way in front initially, suddenly changed gear and accelerated in reverse, thus colliding with the traffic driving towards it from behind.

      Edit: Just noticed another example below.

  • +5 votes

    Picture shown white car rear bumper got hit but your description said red car got hit.

    I am very confused.

    How can the footage being over written so quickly? You only have 1 gb sd card?


      'but got overwritten'

      = alarm bells!

      • +2 votes

        Alarm bells rang for me when the OP couldn't even tell what colour each car was…

        According to the diagram; the white car ran up the back of the red, yet as SnoozeAndLose also notes, the picture shows the REAR of the white car with damage.

  • +10 votes

    Even if that kid did not exist, white car would still be deemed at fault by insurance.


    Sorry OP,
    Rear Ender is ALWAYS the Back car's fault, the only exception being the Front car reversing into a stationary (ie parked) Back car.

    • +20 votes

      not always.

      my brother was driving on the great ocean road doing the speed limit. impatient driver behind was eventually able to overtake. driver got in front of my brother and slammed on his brakes (100 kmzone). my brother didnt have a chance and rear ended him. 2 drivers going the other way saw it, came back and gave their details as witnesses to the other drivers reckless driving. insurance found other driver at fault

      • +8 votes

        Add to that, I was at a stop sign at the top of a steep hill and as the driver went to drive off, they stalled and rolled back into my car. He claimed I ran into him. I showed him that I had a dash cam. He then changed his story after I showed him the footage of his car rolling back almost 2 car lengths to hit mine…

        So, no, the "rear ender back car" is not automatically at fault.

        • +2 votes

          So this is precisely my exception.


            @scubacoles: You can’t use the word “ALWAYS” and then add exceptions… there are more than just one case. What if someone does a u-turn in front of you?

            The issue is that you should have used the word “USUALLY” not “always”


        Extreme exception, and would only apply with witness accounts and/or dashcam footage demonstrating the recklessness.

  • +10 votes

    What a confusing description.

    You are at fault. If a vehicle identifies a potential hazard and slows or stops and you rear end them, you're at fault.

    Your defense of the accident is a complete nonsense

  • +2 votes
    1. Who is at fault?

    White car, for a few reasons, one the jumps to mind based on scene 3 is they failed to giveway at the intersection making sure it was 'clear' for them to enter.

    Hello all,I know many people have posted accidents and thinking they are not at fault, well this is one of them

    Classic it wasn't my 'fault' thread too, when it was. Pay up, move on, learn and look to make sure the intersection is clear.

  • +2 votes
    1. Who is at fault?

    White car at fault. You need to look where you're going.

    the car comes to a full stopped because the driver saw a school kid about to cross (according to red car driver). The crossing wasn't a full zebra crossing where car must stop when someone about to cross.

    They have low limits around the school areas so that drivers can come to a stop quicker to avoid any kids coming out onto the road unexpectedly. Surely you're not suggesting the red car simply run over a kid because it's not a full zebra crossing! lol

  • +15 votes

    I rear ended someone and it's my fault
    I'm now here to waste your time

  • +1 vote

    100 percent your fault, red car driver could stop his car, get out and punch a dart, have flat battery, be having a heart attack, etc You are responsible for not hitting them.

    Review the road rules


    Haha not at fault……at fault

  • +2 votes

    You say the red car is a Mazda6 and the diagrams have a red car in front yet your photo shows a white Mazda6 thats been rear ended.
    The car at the back is at fault whatever colour it was

  • +6 votes

    Please. If you are asking this question, you simply should not have a licence.

  • +2 votes

    title needs updating - "Rear Ended Car and at Fault"

    white car was too close to red car and not watching the red car , nor paying attention to the surroundings (eg the kid), and rear ended the red car

  • +3 votes
    1. Who is at fault?

    You are.

    Next time pay attention to the car in front and don’t accelerate until the road is clear.

  • +1 vote

    What did the stopper say when you asked them?

    because the driver saw a school kid about to cross (according to red car driver).

    Tell the insurance that statement and they might be able to work on stopping without due care over an intersection or something like that.
    Buy a lotto ticket who knows it's crazy times these days. My ex went up the arse of a car stopping for ghosts and won over a crossing here years ago.,153.0407232,60m/data=!3m1!1e3?hl=en&authuser=0

    • +1 vote

      they might be able to work on stopping without due care over an intersection or something like that.

      Given the red car probably thought the kid was about to run across the road it isn’t “without due care”. I don’t know about you but I’d rather avoid hitting a kid even if it meant someone was going to run up my arse. Cars can be repaired or replaced. You can’t replace someone’s child if you badly injure them (or worse!!)

  • +8 votes

    Well I would say the poll is fairly unanimous

  • +2 votes

    Well I would say if you have to ask who is at fault - most of the time it's gonna be you.

  • +2 votes

    I'm going to revisit this thread later in the day and see if the whole white car/red car debacle is cleared up.


      So far it's 0 votes for everything else, 100% of the votes for white car. Seems pretty clear cut case. But I agree, there will be that one troll…


    I know the white car should have kept a safe distance, but in this case, it won't be possible as the distance from turning left to stopping for the red car was so short.

    It's ALWAYS possible to maintain a safe distance. If you can't manage to do so in this very simple scenario, you shouldn't be on the road at all.


      While I agree with your ideals, that you should always try to maintain safe distance, it is not ALWAYS possible or practical, if another driver effectively takes that safe distance away from you.
      People sometimes do crazy or dangerous things, such as this example above, or my example above.

      Of course in this case, the OP was clearly not leaving a safe distance.


        My view is that if you stop before hitting someone, by definition you've kept your end of the 'safe following distance' bargain.

        If they reverse into you, sure, not always possible to avoid, but also not a fault of failing to maintain your distance.
        The guy overtaking and slamming the brakes is possible to avoid (you could slow down as he passes, or a good AEB system should do it), but I admit I would quite likely fall short of my ideals there too because hitting full brakes immediately after overtaking is just such an unexpected move. Rightfully that's considered the fault of the brake-slamming-dick.


          While I agree with your general sentiments, I think you are making the assumption that all vehicles are equal.

          The guy overtaking and slamming the brakes is possible to avoid…

          If a car with significantly better acceleration and breaking suddenly passes and cuts in front of a vehicle such as a truck, and then slams on the brakes, then short of defying the laws of physics, there are situations where it is not possible for the vehicle to stop in time.

          It unfortunately happens quite frequently with trucks & similar vehicles.
          Drivers take away the other driver's safe distance, thought malicious intent or ignorance, by not considering the dynamics of the other vehicle.

          My view is that if you stop before hitting someone, by definition you've kept your end of the 'safe following distance' bargain.

          I think that is an awesome rule of thumb to follow


            @oz-dave: Yeah, you're right, a lot of morons jump in front of trucks. I almost put in a qualifier about "assuming same braking performance"…

  • +1 vote

    OP is already at fault. Might want to check if it's a school zone to see if they are doubly at fault. No court will find a driver at fault for being cautious around a child in a school zone at 3:30pm.

  • +1 vote

    Thank you people for all your input. Will contact my insurance today. Btw, as the excess is $750 and i can not pay that at once, is there such a thing payment plan with insurance company to pay that off?


      Don’t contact them until you hear from the other driver. They might not even bother repairing it.

      Start putting some money aside for your excess.

    • +2 votes

      I would say no, but why not ask your insurance company.

      Also why have you got your descriptions so wrong.

      Red car (mazda 6)

      But photo of damage shows it being white.

      damage to red car

      • +1 vote

        Yeah. Didn't realize after i finished writing up my story. The color was meant for easier to explain but yeah didn't realize it after..LOL.

    • +5 votes

      I think you need to reassess your budget, $750 isn't much.
      Going through your thread history you wanted a warranty claim on a wheel alignment on a car with 40,000km you brought new even though you missed a service to save money.


      since you are at fault, and the other party has no damage, i dont think he will claim insurance for it. It's better for you to find repair quote from somewhere else, perhaps it would be less than $750, or find the bumper from a wrecker or something.

      If you choose to go through insurance to fix your car, do it later. There is a time limit on when you can lodge insurance claim after the accident date.


        I think you've misread. It's the other party that got damaged. OP needs to buy them a NEW, not pre-loved, bumper. (They're single use safety critical items)

        Judging from the photo (boot not closed) there might be more work required too.

  • +3 votes

    The only way the red car would be at fault is if they reversed into you. So, unless you have proof of them reversing into you, then the white car is at fault.

  • +1 vote

    You rear ended someone because you weren't looking straight ahead and now you're trying to blame it on the car in front?


    OP is in the <1%

    As a rule don't accelerate somewhere where your not looking

  • +6 votes
    1. From the scenario, it seem the white car is not at fault because the red car shouldn't have to stop because the crossing was not full zebra crossing.

    From your 'analysis' it seems you are unhinged, to even put the kid in the poll is lunacy.


      Nah bro. Pedestrian's at fault. He should start mowing lawns and selling lemonade to pay back my $750 and maybe learn his lesson!

  • +3 votes

    Accept you are at fault and contact the insurance company, no way the repairs will be cheaper than the excess (your car will be repaired too).
    Can't believe for a second you believe it isn't your fault.

    If I was the Mazda driver and you offered to pay for repairs I still would go through my insurance company, not being at fault so not my problem. With the insurance company handling it I'm covered by lifetime guarantee on the repairs, not some cheap job to save some bloke a few dollars.

  • +1 vote

    From what I know, the car behind is almost always at fault in case of rear ended accident, well unless you go into reverse and hit someone behind you.

    The car in front can stop without any reason and the car behind will still be at fault because you need to maintain safety distance. In your case whenever you turning, you also need to see what's in front of you. Pay your insurance excess and learn your lesson.


    i dont think there's a time line in any parallel universe where a white car can not be at fault


    I didn't even read the story, just looked at the pictures.

    The white car is at fault, unless the red car was reversing.

  • +2 votes

    Why did you show a picture of a white car with damage to the rear end? Did you get mixed up that your car is red and you rear-ended a white car?

    • +1 vote

      OP post was a bit confusing.
      But if you looked at his description for his drawing:

      1. Red car (mazda 6) -> Which actually is white car in real life
      2. White car (honda odyssey)

    You were driving forward while looking in another direction when you hit something.

    On what planet would you think you weren't at fault?

  • +1 vote

    A lot of effort went into that post. You could have saved a lot of time by saying -

    "I didn't check if the intersection was clear before moving. How do I weasel out of it?"

  • -1 vote

    Basic law in most australian states trailing vehicle always at fault regardsless. Also would like to add regardless of the zebra crossing type pedestrians have right of way over any other vehicle on the road regardless of jay walking.


      Interesting laws… please supply source…

      All I can find is the obligation of vehicles to give way (Aus. Road Rules Part 7 Giving Way) that makes absolutely no mention that a driver must always give way to pedestrians (although, commonsense says don't hit pedestrians, just because you don't have to give way to them)

      I read under the Aus. Road Rules, Part 14 Rules for Pedestrians and it makes no mention of pedestrians always having "right of way".

      As a matter of fact, in the whole legislation regarding road rules, there is no "right of way" laws in there at all, for anyone. Only the obligation to give way…


        Not necessarily law but it does indicate you have to give way to pedestrians if there is any risk of collision, even if there’s no marked crossing. Technically that includes jaywalkers?


          As I said, this is "common sense". @jdam said it was "law". I am interested in the law, not the common sense part of it. I want to know the specific piece of legislation that says "regardless of what they do or where they cross, pedestrians have right of way…"

          If it is "law" then there must be some part of some legislation that says "drivers must always give way to pedestrians." I just want to read that part of the legislation.


      as long as they don't forget to wave their hand…


    drivers should be looking in the direction where the car is moving…

  • +4 votes

    This is such a black and white case lol. I read the whole thing and now i want my 1 minute back. I thought there was something special to the story. Then it turns out the car behind is looking right while moving forward. Important lesson, don't do that.

    I've had situations where pedestrians just walk out in front of your car while you are looking right for a gap to oncoming traffic. You're lucky you hit a car and not a person.


    The poll is all messed up now. “White” is at fault but that’s on the basis it’s the rear car.


    Sorry, white car at fault. All that can be done here is learn from the situation.
    Similar thing happened to me (minus the pedestrian).
    I was looking at on coming traffic instead of the car in front of me, and when I saw a clearing, I thought they would have (should have) gone, but obviously they didn't and I tried to occupy the same space they occupied.
    Expensive lesson, so now I focus on the car in front, and not on coming traffic.


    Similar happened to me over a decade ago, except the car in front stopped for absolutely no reason (from what I could discern).

    What happened after? I posted my sad tale on Whirlpool We both pulled over, I apologised, we swapped details, I accepted fault (as upset as I was that he stopped again after having moved off), and I learned from my mistake.


    Have dashcam but got overwritten

    Useless dashcam. May as well not be on or the evidence is damning.

    TLDR Version

    OP thinks they are not at fault for rear ending the vehicle in front because he wasn't looking forward when moving forward.


    100% the kid’s fault.

    “Lawyer up, kid.”


    OP if you can't see why you are at fault you don't have the required capacity to be in control of a vehicle. Please stay off the road.

  • +1 vote

    OP - please stay south of river so I don’t have to worry about having you rear end my car.


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