What determines who is responsible for a traffic accident?
Figuring out who is at fault in a traffic accident is a matter of deciding who was careless. And, for vehicle accidents, there is a set of official written rules telling people how they are supposed to drive and providing guidelines by which liability may be measured. These “rules of the road” are the traffic laws that everyone must learn to pass the driver’s license test. Complete rules are contained in each state’s vehicle code, and they apply not only to automobiles but also to motorcycles, bicycles, and pedestrians.
Sometimes a violation of one of these traffic rules is obvious and was clearly the cause of an accident — for example, when one driver runs a stop sign and crashes into another. In other situations, whether or not there was a violation won’t be as clear. For example, a car crash that occurs when two drivers both merge into a single lane of traffic at the same time.