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Tailgating: Why We Do It and How to Avoid It

Whether you have been driving for years or have had your license for only a short time, you know what tailgating is. Tailgating is when a driver follows too closely to the vehicle in front of them, not providing room enough to stop without crashing into the other vehicle’s rear bumper if the front driver stops suddenly.

How far behind the vehicle in front of you should you be? When the weather is good, you should be able to count at least three seconds between the two vehicles. You can do this by waiting for the vehicle ahead to pass a stationary object and then counting the amount of time it takes you to pass the same object. When the conditions outside are less than optimal, the distance should be greater.

Studies have shown what many people may find surprising: It is often more experienced drivers that do the tailgating. No one is quite certain why, but it may because those who have more experience behind the wheel are more confident that they can handle situations that arise. Those with less experience may drive more cautiously.

Why People Tailgate

If tailgating is so dangerous, you may wonder why people do it. There are several reasons why people follow too closely. Some drivers have a higher estimation of their driving abilities, while others tailgate in an attempt to get the driver ahead to speed up, and still others believe that they can save on gas mileage by drafting, or keeping the wind from hitting their car by sticking closely to the vehicle in front.

Tailgating is Illegal

Tailgating is not only dangerous, it is illegal. When a driver causes an accident because they were following to closely to the vehicle ahead, they can be found at-fault in that accident. They can also be held liable for any injuries or property damage that occur.

Avoiding Tailgaters

Not only do you not want to be held liable for a tailgating accident, but you don’t want to be the victim of one. If you feel that someone is following you too closely for comfort, move over if it is safe to do so and let the driver pass you. You may be irritated and want to frustrate the driver behind you by slowing down. You think that you will teach them a lesson. Chances are that you will only serve to exacerbate their aggressive driving.

If you make every move you can to get the other driver off of your bumper and just can’t shake them safely, call emergency services for assistance. Don’t take matters into your own hands.

If you are involved in an accident in Charlotte, reach out to our team of experienced team of car accident attorneys for assistance. We will review the details surrounding the incident and advise you of your legal options. Call today to schedule your free case evaluation.

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