A question about highway driving

Three cars driving side-by-side on a three-lane highway. Car A is in the left lane. Car B is in the center lane. Car C is in the right lane.

Car A starts to drift out of his lane. Car B, trying to avoid contact with Car A lurches to the right, hitting car C. Car C suffers a couple thousand dollars worth of damage.

Question: who’s insurance pays for Car C’s repairs … Car A for failing to maintain his lane or Car B for making contact with Car C?

I flagged this for a possible move to IMHO.

Both A and B failed to maintain control of their vehicle. If A is unaware or decides to not stop, B is definitely on the hook. If A stops, then the insurance companies fight it out though B might have had the option to merely brake to move out of danger.
It will also depend on a police report (if one is made) assigning fault.

ETA: There’s also the matter of differences in state law.

Without contact the accident will be 100% B’s fault. A didn’t force B into C and so doesn’t bear responsibility for the inappropriate reaction of B. B could have and should have breaked rather than steer into C.

Ah! I hadn’t considered the braking option.

OK, let’s eliminate that. Let’s say Car B can’t brake because of a tailgater right behind him. Is Car B still on the hook for Car C’s damage?

I’m trying to figure out how anybody got Car A’s information - because if car A wasn’t involved in the accident, it probably didn’t stop and may not have even known the accident happened and Car C might not even have noticed Car A drifting. So at the point where insurance companies and the police are involved, it may be that Car B is the only person talking about Car A. In which case it will certainly be Car B on the hook for damages.

I don’t think a tailgater prevents Car B from slowing down.

nope. if Car B is hit by tailgaiter D, it’s all D’s fault. Answer to initial question - B for hitting C. If A hits B who hits C, it’s A’s fault.

Or speeding up. Its scenarios like this that I actively try and avoid while on the highway. I do not understand people who speed and then travel right next to a big rig for miles. I purposely wait until there is enough room for me to pass someone and immediately get in front of them. Instead of just sitting there beside them while some idiot refuse to speed up and pass.

Same goes for blind spots, why do people sit in them for miles and miles?

Hopefully B had a dashcam, and/or wrote down A’s plate (if he had the chance).

B should have let A hit him or should have braked even if D would have rear ended him. In either of those cases it would not have been B’s fault.

Yup. If B slammed on the breaks and was rear-ended then D is at fault for following too closely. Without someone hitting him B will be solely at fault for hitting C.

If the accident happened in Michigan, Car C would pay his own bill, no matter who might have been at fault. Great system, IMHO.

Wait, what? So if a driver intentionally damages your car you have to pay for the damage and they get off free?

You like this system?

BTW, if A, B and C are abreast, someone clearly has no clue how to use a passing lane. This is a pet peeve. It should not take you ten minutes or ten miles to pass the car to the right. Speed up and pass already.

Michigan is a No-Fault car insurance state, along with 11 others, including Florida and New Your, according to google. Any one who is in an accident has his costs paid by his insurance company, no litigation needed. Yes, I think it’s a great idea but based on the number of states that have adopted it, it seems I am in a minority.

Dash cams are more ubiquitous than ever.

Can you modify ubiquitous? Dash cams are becoming ubiquitous…they’re everywhere!

Thanks, I’d never heard of that.

No fault insurance is great! Arguably a much better system for several reasons.

  1. It avoids all the costly investigation and wrangling over who pays for what. In many cases (like the convoluted one in the OP), there’s a legal determination of fault that doesn’t really fully map onto reality.
  2. It provides incentives to drive defensively, rather than just drive according to rules that make damages not your fault.
  3. It solves the corner case of the very expensive car. Every once in a while there’s a big story about someone who gets in a fender bender with some very rich person driving a super car. An accident that, almost always, would result in maybe a few $100 of damage instead results in $100k because of the expense of the vehicle. And that feels pretty unfair, I think. People make mistakes, and even if the non-rich driver is at fault, it’s a hell of a penalty for what would otherwise be a minor mistake. The no-fault insurance answer to this is, hey, if you want to drive a $1 million car around where someone might hit it, better have a lot of insurance.

No-fault insurance only applies to bodily injury or death (including economic impacts such as lost income). From Wikipedia:

In terms of damages to vehicles and their contents, those claims are still based on fault. No-fault systems focus solely on issues of compensation for bodily injury, and such policies pay the medical bills for drivers and their companions no matter whose fault the collision was.

That is absolutely not true. I had a property-only accident in Michigan, police determined I was at fault, yet both I and the person I hit each paid their own costs, via our individual insurance, of course. My insurance company paid the other person’s deductible, as well, so no out-of-pocket cost to her.

No idea where Wikipedia got their info but it’s not correct.