Can a passing car be at fault for a crash even if there was no contact between the cars?

  • Yes. A driver must not pass another car unless it can be done safely.

In Link v. ICBC the claimant was driving on a snowy highway, following two tracks left by other cars. An SUV came up fast from behind, changed into the fast lane, passed and immediately returned to the slow lane, throwing up a rooster-tail of snow that hit the claimant’s windshield. The wiper blades were unable to clear the snow. The driver instinctively touched the brakes, causing the car to fish tail and go into the ditch.

The judge held that the passing SUV was at fault. Given the road conditions, the SUV driver should have anticipated that passing at a high speed and returning to the slow lane immediately in front of the claimant would result in a lot of snow being thrown onto the claimant. There is a very heavy onus on a passing driver to ensure the passing can be done in safety, particularly in poor road and weather conditions.

You may have a claim for injury even if it was a single car collision. We can help. Contact us.

Read the case: Link v. ICBC