You can identify tailgating by the other driver’s eyes in your rearview mirrors. Increases the likelihood of a rear-end collision by driving closely behind another vehicle. The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) reports that rear-end collisions are the most frequent type of car accident.
Drivers More Likely to Tailgate Share Several Factors
The risks associated with tailgating are evident, but it is less clear why someone would choose to tailgate another vehicle.
Several behavioural factors contribute to tailgating, according to studies:
- Aggressive driving tendencies .
- The majority of drivers who tailgate have aggressive driving habits.
- These motorists are the constant horn-blowers, speeders, and lane-changers.
- Younger people are more likely to take risks and act impulsively.
- They are likely to engage in tailgating.
- Self-importance .
- Drivers who prioritise their own needs over those of others on the road are likely to engage in tailgating.
- If these individuals are late for work or in a rush to get home, they will do anything to gain an advantage over other motorists.
- This includes engaging in risky driving manoeuvres that endanger others.
- A sense of false security.
- Some believe that their driving skills shield them from the dangers of tailgating.
- The majority of motorists cannot avoid a disaster, and those who believe they can have a false sense of security.
- They believe they can behave better than they actually can.
- High-speed driving, close proximity between vehicles, and human reaction time can tragically combine.
Obviously, not all tailgaters exhibit these behaviours. Some individuals with these tendencies may not necessarily tailgate when driving.
What are the Dangers of Tailgating
Significant risk associated with tailgating is that drivers do not leave enough space to stop if the vehicle in front of them suddenly decelerates. This raises the likelihood of a rear-end collision. The first rear-end collision increases the likelihood of a multicar chain-reaction pileup.
Rear-end collisions frequently cause neck and back injuries.
Another risk associated with tailgating is that it may force the driver in the front vehicle to apply the brakes in an effort to get the tailgaters to move over. Commonly known as a brake check, if the front driver presses the brake pedal for even a fraction of a second too long, a collision is imminent. Brake checks can also provoke road rage in tailgaters.
Any aggressive driving behaviour can result in accidents with catastrophic injuries.
It can be tempting to attempt to control a tailgater’s behaviour, but doing so can be dangerous. So what do you do when a tailgater approaches you from behind?
Safe Drivers De-escalate Tailgating (or avoid it altogether)
When a driver is rapidly approaching you from behind, there may be little you can do to alter their behaviour. However, your response to their behaviour is under your control.
Responsible drivers are advised to use an evasive manoeuvre to respond to tailgaters: move into the adjacent lane and let them pass. It is not recommended to make eye contact with or gesture towards the tailgater. Whatever their problem may be, avoid making it your own.
Defensive driving can be practised by safe drivers. Driving defensively can reduce the likelihood of automobile collisions. Some strategies for avoiding tailgaters:
- Follow posted speed limits.
- Maintain speed in the absence of adverse weather conditions or congested driving conditions.
- Driving slower than the posted speed limit can provoke tailgaters.
- Maintain the correct lane.
- The rightmost lane on a two-lane highway is universally designated as the slow lane.
- Since the right lane is typically associated with slower traffic, it is less likely that a driver will be tailgating in it.
- Avoid applying the brakes.
- If you believe a vehicle is following too closely, do not apply the brakes.
- If the driver behind you has a propensity for tailgating, applying the brakes may cause an incident.
While it is never your fault when another driver tailgates you, it is safer to engage in defensive driving and de-escalate road conflict.
Filing a Tailgating Claim
If you were injured in a collision caused by a driver who was following too closely, you should contact a personal injury lawyer. A personal injury attorney can inform you of your legal rights and the steps you must take to protect them.
Contact Our Personal Injury Law Firm
Contact Abrams Law Group for a free consultation if you’ve been hurt in an accident and require legal assistance.