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If your rear end someone are you automatically at fault in California?

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POSTED August 29, 2012 5:48 p.m.

SACRAMENTO – Do you have questions about general driving related requirements like registration and insurance? Are you unclear about laws and restrictions related to driving? The California Department of Motor Vehicles has answers. Save Time. Go Online at

Q: If you rear end someone, does the law always consider the collision to be your fault?

A: Though it is often the case, there is no law that determines which driver will be at fault in all cases. Still, it is very important that you know how to be a good defensive driver. To avoid a rear end collision, remember to:

Plan ahead. Look down the road 10 to 15 seconds ahead of your vehicle so you can see hazards early

•Scan. Look beyond the car ahead of you. Look at the movement of cars around you. Don’t develop a “fixed stare”

Don’t tailgate. Many drivers don’t see as far ahead as they should because they follow too closely and as a result, the vehicle immediately ahead blocks their view. Tailgating also gives you insufficient time to brake quickly

Adjust your speed. Slow down in poor weather. Rain and snow can cause vehicles to slip on the roadway. It also impairs your vision, affecting your ability to drive safely

For more information on safe driving practices, visit

Q: Recently I took my behind the wheel driving test and failed. I immediately understood my error and asked if I could take the test again the same day. The examiner said that I couldn’t and that I would need to schedule another appointment. I am over 18, so whycouldn’t I take another driving test on the same day?

A: Driving test are scheduled by appointment only so offices can effectively manage their workload and resources. Additionally, this gives you more time to practice until your next appointment. Good luck on your next test!

Q: Although the registration fees are current, I am not operating my vehicle and I have canceled my insurance, now I am getting notices of "intent to suspend." What should do?

A: When your registration fees are current and you are not operating your vehicle, you must submit an “Affidavit of Non-Use,” REG. 5090 form. This notification will stop the insurance suspension action.

If your vehicle is still not being operated when you receive a billing notice for your next renewal period, be sure to file a “Planned Non-Operational” status on the vehicle and pay the appropriate fee. For more information about vehicle registration insurance requirements, please visit our website at

The DMV is a department under the Business, Transportation and Housing Agency, which is under the direction of Acting Undersecretary Traci Stevens. The DMV licenses drivers, maintains driving records, registers and tracks official ownership of vehicles and vessels, investigates auto and identity-related fraud, and licenses car dealers, driving schools, and traffic violator schools. For more information about the DMV, visit

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