According to highway agencies, tailgating is a leading cause of accidents in the US, contributing to more than a third of road accidents.
On the surface, tailgating may seem harmless to some drivers. They may view it as a way of letting the car in front of them know that they need to speed up.
However, according to the National Transportation Safety Board, tailgating is a leading contributor to rear-end accidents, which account for more than 500,000 injuries and 17,000 deaths each year. According to highway agencies, tailgating is a leading cause of accidents in the US, contributing to more than a third of road accidents.
Clearly, tailgating is far from harmless as it can result in serious, even fatal, car accidents.
What Is Tailgating?
Tailgating is the action where a driver drives too closely behind another vehicle. Generally, drivers tailgate when they drive less than 3 seconds behind the car in front of them. Drivers need to maintain adequate distance behind the car in front of them to allow enough reaction time in case of the unexpected.
What Causes Tailgating?
There are plenty of reasons for other drivers to drive too closely to the cars in front of them. Some of these reasons include:
Aggressive driving is one of the leading causes of tailgating. Aggressive drivers are more predisposed to tailgating. Such drivers are prone to excessive honking, speeding, and changing lanes carelessly.
Sense of Self-Importance
It’s not uncommon for some drivers to feel more important than others. This may be because they’re late for a meeting or work. It could also be because they have a higher standing in the social hierarchy. Regardless of the case, these drivers feel like they should get ahead of other drivers, leading to risky driving behavior like tailgating.
Some drivers are a little too confident in their driving abilities. They feel that they can tailgate other vehicles and react fast enough in an unexpected event. This rarely ends well because their confidence is misplaced.
How to Stop Tailgating
Here are a few tips to follow if you want to stop tailgaters from ruining your driving experience.
Maintain the Speed Limit
When the road is free from traffic and the weather is perfect for driving, ensure you maintain the speed limit. Driving below the speed limit may attract tailgaters looking to get past you.
Drive in the Correct Lane
The lane to your extreme right is generally designated for slow drivers on a two-lane highway. Switch over to this lane if you’re not rushing to your destination. You’re less likely to encounter tailgaters in this lane.
Avoid Hitting the Brakes
When another car is driving too closely behind you, avoid hitting the brakes unless it’s absolutely necessary. That’s because hitting the brakes may lead to tailgating and even a rear collision accident.
Tailgating Is Very Dangerous
Tailgating is a major cause of accidents on US roads. So be sure to keep the above tips in mind and drive safely to prevent tailgating accidents.
If you’ve been injured in a tailgating accident in St. Louis, give us a call 24/7 to speak with an experience St. Louis car accident attorney about protecting your legal right to compensation.
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