If you get rear-ended by another vehicle while driving, there’s a one-out-of-three chance that tailgating was the reason, according to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration. Simply put, tailgating is the act of driving too closely behind a vehicle. The ability to react quickly enough to changes in traffic or abrupt circumstances becomes increasingly difficult—and dangerous.
Why Tailgating is Dangerous
Some drivers are simply oblivious to unsafe following distances. Others drive while distracted or impaired. Impatient, aggressive, or angry drivers may tailgate to try to compel you to change lanes or pick up the pace, or simply to intimidate. When safe to do so, get out of their way. Don’t escalate the situation by purposely slowing down or “gesturing.”
The “two-second rule” is generally recommended as the bare minimum safe following distance in optimum driving conditions. However, larger vehicles have longer stopping distances; everyone’s reflexes are different; and inclement weather changes everything. A larger cushion is even more prudent.
Yes, in heavy multilane traffic, when you follow at a safe distance, it’s practically an invitation to others to squeeze in front of you. Just bite the bullet and readjust. In the long run, any time you lose will be minimal.
In most tailgating accidents, the tailgater will be deemed at fault. However, in comparative-negligence states, a certain portion of liability might be assigned to the struck driver. For instance, if the car in front did not have functioning brake lights, its driver may be found 20 percent at fault for the accident, thus reducing their recovery by 20 percent.
If you are injured by a tailgater, contact an auto accident attorney to protect your rights.
Contact a Car Wreck Lawyer
If you or someone you love has suffered injuries in an accident, you have rights that can be protected. In addition to these helpful tips on keeping a journal, an experienced attorney can provide information and guidance that will help you be as successful as possible. In Alaska, attorney Ben Crittenden has helped many accident victims obtain the justice and compensation they deserve, and he may be able to help you, too. Subscribe to his free newsletter to learn more about what he does and the legal options available to Alaska accident victims.