Clift v Hawes (1999)

There were two accidents involving five vehicles which had been travelling in the same direction. There was debris on the road after the first accident and that is what caused the second accident.

A motorcyclist was following a Renault Clio in the offside lane on the approach to the debris.

The car was being driven at 60/70 mph. On approach to the debris, the car braked and halted or slowed from 60/70 mph to 10 mph. The following motorcyclist hit the car and was thrown off his bike.

The driver of the car which caused the first accident was to blame for the second accident but the motorcyclist was 30% to blame.

It was held that those persons driving a line of traffic must drive at such a distance behind the vehicle in front as to be prepared for foreseeable emergencies. The driver of the Renault Clio was not negligent as his actions were caused by the negligence of the person who caused the first accident.

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