But it’s not my fault

Traffic cones set up to direct traffic around a police car.

There’s a something funny that happens when a person finds out they’re at fault when they rear end another car. You would think it was pretty obvious who was at fault in that situation, but sometimes there’s drama when they ask.

The rear end collision is one of the most common I go. You would think this particular type of collision would be the easiest to avoid since the car was right in front of the other driver. There’s no surprises here. The car was either moving, slowing down or stopped.

After the collision the driver will sometimes ask if they’re at fault for rear ending the car. I actually think it’s funny when they ask that. That’s like a baseball player dropping an easy fly ball and asking if it was his fault.

They other night I went to a rear end collision where the driver was shocked when she found out she was at fault for crashing into the vehicle in front of her. She was going 40 miles per hour while following a vehicle less than a car length behind when the car stopped in front of her.

Of course, she didn’t have time to stop and crashed into the car. One person went to the hospital and one of the cars had to be towed. She then wanted to debate and argue with me when she asked if she was at fault.

There’s something that happens to people who can’t believe they’re at fault when they rear end a car. I call this the “I can’t believe I’m at fault” reaction.

First there’s the look of disbelief. Their eyes get wide, the jaw clinches, the head goes back and the upper body makes an involuntary jerk to the rear. They then shake their head side to side like it’s going to go away.

This particular reaction comes in different levels of disbelief, which makes it funnier at times. The reaction can be very slight to down right drama.

Once the reaction has been displayed I try and explain to the driver that they have to drive at a speed and distance that is safe for the conditions.

Whenever the person hears that they come back with, “But I was.” They say this without realizing that they just crashed into the back of a car that was stopped in front of them.

If they had been driving at a speed and distance that was safe for the conditions I would still be sitting in Starbucks rather than standing in the street with them.

Never mind that there’s an ambulance and a fire truck taking the victim away, who was just violently assaulted from behind by a 3,000lbs object on four wheels.

The process of explaining this can be painful at times, because the driver is in defensive mode. At that point they just want to debate.

There finally comes a point where nothing I say is good enough. That’s when I bring out this one simple sentence that works every time. It’s the “I should’ve had a V8” moment for the driver who is arguing with me.

I say, “You just can’t around hitting cars.”

Once the person hears that they stop arguing. Sometimes they display the “I can’t believe I’m at fault” reaction again. That means I get to see their body involuntarily jerk backwards again, along with the jaw clenching and shake of the head. This time the eyes don’t get wide. They instead squint like the villain from a Disney movie.

Too bad I can’t say what I really want to…….. ” You just can’t go around hitting shit.”

2 thoughts on “But it’s not my fault

  1. I did one of those! Older lady in front of me slammed on her brakes the second the light turned yellow – caught me totally off-guard. We both could have made it through…because I was too close. I was irritated with her, but knew I was at fault anyway.
    Being as this was in FL, the rule is: don’t leave the scene until the police arrive.
    Well, she thought her car was just fine, and loudly declared that didn’t like the skin colour of my passenger. So despite my warnings that it was against the law, she left. I took her licence plate, and she took the ticket – not me!


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