Many factors can affect the likelihood of becoming involved in a motor vehicle accident. Drivers are certainly encouraged to operate their vehicles in a safe and responsible manner. But people sometimes do things which are unsafe and can lead to accidents which could have been avoided in the first place. One of the common factors is tailgating. Let’s explore this further and discuss some ways to avoid this problem.
Tailgating is when someone is driving their car and doesn’t leave sufficient space between the car in front of them based on the speed they are currently operating their vehicles. It increases the risk of rear end collisions. As a matter of fact, almost one third of all rear end collisions reported are due in large part to tailgating.
Many jurisdictions have enacted traffic laws which make tailgating punishable by fines. Yet this situation continues to occur in many cases.
There are a number of reasons why tailgating occurs. Let’s discuss some of them.
In many cases the driver is unaware that he/she is tailgating. They may feel that they have left adequate spacing between the car in front of them and that they can stop and prevent and rear end collision.
And tailgating can also be a form of road rage. Drivers can use tailgating as a form of intimidation to other drivers. The tailgater may drive up close to a car in front of them in order to get them to pull over so they can pass them. Or it may be used when a tailgater is mad at the other driver for one reason or another.
Another form of tailgating is when a driver will change lanes and pull in front of or in back of another vehicle at close range. If this occurs and the car has to stop quickly, it can lead to an accident because the tailgater cannot react quickly enough to stop or slow down.
The simple solution to tailgating is not to do it. Drivers need to be better educated as to safe following distances based on the speed they are traveling at. Public education campaigns help to do this as well as proper training for younger drivers so they can learn these guidelines properly.
Insurance companies encourage experienced drivers to learn about safe following distance and avoid tailgating by offering discounts for taking defensive and safe driving courses.
These are all good ways to minimize the risk associated with tailgating and make driving safer for all of us.