How Dangerous is Tailgating?

Tailgating occurs when a person purposely drives dangerously close to the car in front of them. This deliberately unsafe driving does not give the driver enough time to react if the vehicle they`re following suddenly hits the brakes or moves to avoid an obstruction in the road. If you`re struck by a tailgating driver, it`s very likely that you have the foundation of a car accident lawsuit in Houston. In this article, we`ll discuss why tailgating can be dangerous and what you can do if you observe another driver operating their car recklessly. 

Porsche 911 With Variable V-GTX Rear With By Vorsteiner cover

Dangers Linked with Tailgating

Tailgating should always be avoided, as it puts everyone on the road at risk of severe harm or even death. Some of the risks associated with tailgating include:

Negative Impact on Reaction Time

When a driver is tailgating, they are not following the three-second rule for safe following distances. This means that the tailgater will have little-to-no time to react if the car in front of them begins braking, changes lanes, or swerves to avoid something in the road.  Insufficient reaction time means a tailgater is likely to plow straight into the vehicle they`re following or swerve off the road if road conditions change suddenly.  

Speeding Causes Severe Accidents

Research by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) indicates that around 29% of car accidents happen due to driving at high speed. Speed-related accidents happen due to swerving, tailgating, aggressive driving, and frequent and abrupt lane changes. Reckless drivers risk their lives and put others in danger as well. 

The faster a vehicle is at the moment of a collision, the more likely it is that everyone involved in the crash will suffer serious injuries. Severe injuries tend to be accompanied by a steep hospital bill and time spent off work for all injured parties, which can really put strain on a family`s finances.

Aggressive Driving May Lead To Other Bad Decisions

Tailgating is a constant nuisance on the road and drivers that drive in such a manner may also display other signs of aggressive driving, such as unsafe lane changes or reckless speeding. Any one of these types of dangerous driving can be problematic, but a combination of factors can quickly result in a serious wreck. If you are being hounded by a tailgating driver, the best thing you can do is safely get out of their way when possible and allow them to pass. This may feel wrong, but it reduces your chances of being hurt by their reckless behavior. 

How to Tackle a Tailgater

If a tailgater is riding your rear bumper, it`s time to think of your own safety first. Instead of speeding up, slamming on the brakes, or getting into a confrontation with the other driver, you should:

  • Switch Lanes When You Safely Can: If you are not driving in the right lane, you can merge into a slower-moving lane to allow the tailgater to pass.
  • Pull Over: If you`re on a road that only has one lane going in either direction, you can pull over at a safe spot on the shoulder to allow the pursuing car to get in front of you. 
  • Stop At a Parking Lot: To remove yourself from the situation, you can stop at any restaurant, gas station, or parking lot you spot on the way. 

Stay Calm & Drive On

Whatever happens, stay calm and don`t react irrationally. Do whatever it takes to remove yourself from the dangerous situation, even if it means giving right-of-way to the tailgater. It can be challenging to give ground to someone that is driving dangerously, but you have to maintain your composure and do what`s best for your car`s occupants. If someone`s driving puts you in fear for your life, call 911 to report the incident. We hope this article helps you stay safe the next time someone tries to tailgate you on the road!