I was driving on a 2 lane undivided road in the left lane. The speed limit was 45, and due to slippery conditions I was going 30, with a 7-8 car length gap in front of me. I saw the vehicle in front of me change lanes and fishtail a bit. The SUV now in front of me was close to a stop, so I began slowing down. When I was 4-5 car lengths away, I hit a patch of ice, resulting in a rear end collision. The Oakland county officer cited me for failure to stop within assured clear distance. Is there a case that I can cite that clears me of this? I do not believe I was in violation as I left a clear distance, and was driving for the conditions.


Not really. As a rule in the United States, in a rear end collision is cited to be at fault at the scene of the accident. Unless there was damage to either you or the SUV driver or the occupants of either vehicle, the matter will likely to go to court and the only purpose to assess who was wrong is for insurance to figure out. As the driver at fault, your insurance company will contact his insurance company and exchange information as to damage information. Your company and his might both reach out to you to verify details (as well as him) and then your company pays out for both cars and your rate goes up due to having to pay out for you.

Unless charged with a particular crime, legally this means nothing to you other than an increased rate for a set time. The assessment of the police is to who hit whom, which is true in that you hit him, regardless of bad driving practices on your part. If there is a legal action against you, where you must appear in court or pay a fine, than you can use legal actions. But if everyone is okay and the cars are damaged, it's really for insurance purposes to establish which car hit the other car.

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