Ask Anne Marie: Is a Passenger Ever Held Responsible for Causing a Collision?

We frequently highlight auto insurance questions sent to our resident insurance expert, Anne Marie Thomas. From questions about insurance for high-risk drivers to questions about when a driver should be listed on an insurance policy, Anne Marie answers them all.

This week’s question is about the role and responsibilities of passengers in a car.

Dave asks:

“Is a passenger responsible, in any way, if you were about to back into a parked car and they saw it was going to happen but didn't tell you because they found it funny? That is what my wife’s brother-in-law did to me, and it ended up costing me $600.”

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While everyone should aim to be a good passenger for the driver's sake, ultimately, the onus is on the driver for what happens while the vehicle is in motion, explains Anne Marie.

“No. The passenger has no responsibility here for the collision that was caused. As the driver, it's 100% your fault for having the vehicle in motion and not watching out for what was in your vehicle’s path. Always make sure yourself that the way is clear before making a driving decision or manoeuvre.”