How Tailgating Causes Accidents and How to Stop It

Every year, thousands of Americans are killed in rear-end collisions and hundreds of thousands more are injured. In fact, a report from the National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) several years ago noted that nearly half of all two-vehicle accidents are rear-end collisions. The report also cited a National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) study which concluded that a full 87% of rear-end car accidents were the result of a driver not paying attention to the vehicle in front of them.

Both of these statistics and others like them point to the dangers of tailgating. Tailgating is the act of following the vehicle in front of you too closely. There are several reasons drivers tailgate, everything from mindlessly doing it to tailgating as a way to get back at the driver of the other car. 

The Danger of Tailgating

One of the reasons tailgating is so dangerous is because it can increase the likelihood of a rear-end collision. 

Tailgating can often cause an accident because:

  • Following the vehicle in front of you too closely reduces the amount of reaction time you have should the vehicle in front of you stop abruptly
  • Tailgating can force you to swerve into another lane or even oncoming traffic as a way to avoid a rear-end collision
  • Following the vehicle in front of you too closely can also trigger road rage in the driver in front of you and might lead to a confrontation

When you tailgate, not only does it put you at a greater risk for an accident, it puts your safety in jeopardy and it could also make recovering damages from an accident difficult. If the other driver claims you were at fault for an accident because you were tailgating and investigating police officers and insurance adjusters agree, getting compensation to cover your injuries and property damage might not be possible.

What to Do if Another Car is Tailgating You

If another vehicle is tailgating you there are several things you can do to minimize the risk of an accident, including:

  • Safely change lanes and let the other car pass you
  • Always drive in the right lane on freeways
  • Drive the speed limit
  • Don’t tap on the brakes to send a message to the car behind you
  • Make sure you never use your cellphone while driving

Even though the tailgating driver could be held liable for your damages should an accident occur, the best option is to avoid an accident altogether. By following the above defensive driving tactics and by keeping your cool if another vehicle is tailgating you, you can keep you, your loved ones, and your car safe from an accident.

What to Do if Another Vehicle Rear-Ends You

Rear-end collisions are extremely common and can lead to significant injuries. Whiplash, spinal cord injuries, and head trauma are all examples of ways drivers and passengers can be injured in a rear-end collision.

It is also widely accepted that the rear vehicle is at fault in a rear-end collision. For that reason, if another vehicle rear-ends your car, you should consult a skilled car accident attorney as soon as possible. With the help of a qualified attorney, you can make your case to the other driver and their insurance company that the other party was to blame for your injuries and damage to your car.

Your lawyer will do everything in their power to argue your case and maximize your recovery. If you have been injured in a rear-end collision you should not have to pay for medical bills and car repairs on your own. The responsible party should be held accountable and pay for the damage they caused. A personal injury lawyer can help you get the justice you deserve.