Does Tailgating Cause Car Accidents?

Washington DC Car Accident Lawyers at the Law Offices of Duane O. King Help Those Injured by Reckless or Tailgating Drivers.

You see it on the roads every day. Everyone has somewhere to be, and many motorists try to get there as soon as they possibly can. Tailgating is one action that many drivers do, believing they can get to their destination quicker, or it will make the people in front of them go faster. But that is simply not the case.

Tailgating is very dangerous and is one of the worse things you can do when behind the wheel. According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), rear-end collisions made up over one-third of all car accidents in 2018, with most of them caused by tailgating. They are responsible for a myriad of injuries such as whiplash, neck and back injuries, even death.

Why Do Drivers Tailgate?

Tailgating is characterized by one driver following another driver too closely, no matter the speed. The distance between the two vehicles is so small that it does not allow the trailing driver to react to a stop safely, causing a collision.

If tailgating is so dangerous, why do people do it? Some people believe that if they tailgate the person in front of them, it forces them to go faster. Some drivers are either distracted or drowsy and do not realize how close they are to the car in front of them. Others may just be aggressive or careless. However, no matter the cause, tailgating is not safe and makes other drivers nervous. This may cause them to may react poorly, further raising the chances of an accident.

How to Avoid Tailgating Accidents

There are some defensive techniques you can do to prevent another driver from tailgating you, such as the following:

  • Use the right lane. Stay in the right lane if possible and allow others to pass on the left. The left lane is normally used in every state as a passing lane; staying in the lane attracts aggressive drivers and tailgaters.
  • Do not tap the brakes. Some people believe that tapping the brakes will deter a tailgater and have them back off, but that may do more harm than good. The probability of a rear-end collision is raised if you tap the brakes, which does not give the driver behind enough time to react, and they will likely crash into you.
  • Maintain the speed limit. Always try to travel the speed limit; however, if a tailgater is making you nervous, turn your flashers on and move to the right if possible. When driving in less-than-ideal conditions, putting on your flashers alerts other drivers that you are moving to the side.

To prevent yourself from tailgating others, always leave enough space between yourself and the car in front of you, giving you enough time to stop and react to any panic situations. A good rule to follow is to allow 10 feet for every 10 mph you are traveling. For example, there should be 60 feet of distance between you and the driver in front while you are traveling 60 mph.

You can double this rule when the weather is inclement or the road conditions are poor. Slippery, wet, or icy conditions require more traction and more time for your vehicle to stop, which means more distance to do so. Finally, there is another rule you can use called a two-second method, where you measure the distance between two cars by counting to two when the car in front passes a landmark or sign.

Washington DC Car Accident Lawyers at the Law Offices of Duane O. King Help Those Injured by Reckless or Tailgating Drivers

Tailgating is dangerous, and drivers could be held liable should they tailgate others and cause an accident. If you or a loved one has been injured in an accident caused by a negligent driver, reach out to the Washington DC car accident lawyers at the Law Offices of Duane O. King. Our skilled legal team has years of experience and is more than happy to help you get the compensation for which you are entitled. Call us today at 202-331-1963 or contact us online for a free consultation. Located in Washington, DC, we work with car accident victims in Prince George’s County, including Laurel, Beltsville, Adelphi, College Park, Greenbelt, Mitchellville, Woodmore, Greater Upper Marlboro, Springdale, Largo, Bowie, Capitol Heights, District Heights, Forestville, Suitland, and Seat Pleasant, Clinton, Oxon Hill, Temple Hills, and Fort Washington.