Tailgating is a Top Cause of Auto Accidents

tailgating accidentA transportation study conducted in 2014 shows that one third of all automobile accidents are due to tailgating, a typically purposeful act intended to make the driver in front speed up.

Tailgating occurs when a driver follows another automobile too closely, not leaving enough room to make a sudden stop if necessary. The uncomfortable and potentially dangerous distance between the cars motivates the driver in front to increase speed to regain additional space.

The intentional quality of tailgating makes these research findings especially troublesome, because it occurs with experienced drivers, not just inexperienced drivers.

Why Tailgating Happens

Tailgating is typically deliberate. A driver may tailgate for several reasons, including:

  • Retaliation, intimidation or road rage
  • Impatience
  • Overestimating their own driving skill
  • Attempting to draft (driving very close behind a larger vehicle attempting to increase gas mileage by reducing drag).

Preventing Tailgating Accidents

In good driving conditions, drivers should stay a minimum of three seconds behind any vehicles in front of them. When the weather conditions are bad, after dark, or while following a heavy truck, drivers should maintain an even greater distance from other vehicles to help prevent tailgating accidents.

Follow these tips to avoid tailgating:

  • Always be alert and aware of other nearby vehicles.
  • Allow at least three seconds of space between your vehicle and the car in front of you.
  • Keep at least 10 feet back for every 10 mph you are travelling.
  • When following a motorcycle or large vehicle, keep farther back.
  • Travel at speeds that allow braking safely even if the vehicle in front of you stops abruptly.
  • Drive slower when weather conditions are poor, and double the recommended amount of distance between your vehicle and the one you are following.

If you are being tailgated, it is important to remain calm. Slowing down or retaliating in another way can put you at danger. When possible, simply move over and allow the tailgater to pass you.

If you or someone you love is injured in a car wreck caused by a driver who was following too closely, contact an experienced auto accident injury lawyer in Sacramento at the Arnold Law Firm. We can help you obtain the compensation you deserve.

For a free case review, call (916) 777-7777 or fill out an online contact form and let our Sacramento personal injury lawyers discuss the merits of your claim.