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Good afternoon. A driver is required to keep a safe distance between their vehicle and the one in front of them. Even though the driver may have stopped for no reason and caught your 17 year old off guard, they should have kept a safe distance, for this very reason. Unless the driver reversed into your 17 year old, the court is likely going to find them at fault, unless they have a legal basis/defense to justify the accident. However, if the driver of the other vehicle fails to appear at the trial, then the case will be dismissed, since there is nobody to testify against your 17 year old and the Officer arrived after the fact and did not witness anything.
I just wanted to follow up and see if you had any other questions or needed me to clarify something. I am here to help, so please let me know. Thanks!