Tailgating: Save it for a Sooner’s Game
A simple and practical step all drivers can take to avoid car accidents is to eliminate driving practices that increase the risk of collisions. One of the easiest ways to improve driving is to make sure that tailgating does not become a habit, ensuring proper following distance from all vehicles in front. Regardless of how quickly a driver wants to get to a destination, the time that the driver shaves by riding bumpers will vanish the instant tailgating results in a rear-end collision.
When tailgating goes wrong, a rear-end collision is almost inevitable, because the driver in back lacks adequate time to stop safely when the front driver brakes suddenly. In most cases, the driver in back is found to be completely at fault and liable for damages. Furthermore, psychologists have studied rear-end collisions and determined that drivers are frequently incapable of perceiving the urgency with which a car ahead brakes, making it all but impossible to brake in time to avoid an accident. This may explain the 2.4 million rear end collisions that occur each year.
What to do if you’re being tailgated
While tailgating can be aggravating for the driver being followed too closely, the first rule is to stay calm and not let the overly cozy bumper buddy get under your skin. Other steps to take to remain safe include:
- Maintaining a constant speed so that the tailgater can accurately predict when it will be safe to pass
- Switching lanes when possible
- Pulling over to let the following vehicle pass
New technology may be on the horizon to help address tailgating, such as Mazda’s CitySafe, Subaru’s EyeSight and Volvo’s City Safety systems. These systems may reduce or prevent collisions by automatically applying the brakes when forward traffic does.
If you have been the victim of tailgaters or other rear-end collisions, contact legal representatives who can seek the damages to which you’re entitled.