Tailgating is Dangerous

tailgating

Tailgating (driving too closely behind another vehicle) is not only annoying, it is dangerous, and a common cause of rear-end accidents.  Tailgating is a pet peeve of most drivers – seeing a car in your rear view mirror that is disturbingly close can feel like the other driver is perpetrating an act of aggression – and sometimes he or she is.  Besides aggressive/road-rage driving, other reasons for tailgating include impatience, inattention or ignorance.

Perhaps some of us remember the adage from driver’s training that you should allow two car lengths between the front of your vehicle and the back of another when driving.  Studies have shown that following for less than two seconds behind the leading vehicle creates the greatest risk of a rear-end accident.  The risk is even greater in heavy, stop-and-go traffic.

To make sure you are not tailgating, choose a focal point ahead in your line of vision, and make sure you can count at least three seconds from the leading vehicle passing the focal point with the rear of the car to your vehicle’s front end reaching it.  If the weather conditions are adverse, or there is compromised visibility or heavy traffic, double that time to six seconds.

If you find yourself being tailgated, stay calm.  Do not view the driver behind you as an aggressor, or opponent that must be taught a lesson – pumping the brakes, or worse, abruptly stopping – in order to “get back” at the tailgater increases the chances of an accident greatly, and an accident will ruin everyone’s day.  Sometimes staying calm is easier said than done.  Imagine the tailgater is rushing to the hospital to deliver a baby.  If it is safe to change lanes, do so to let the hurried party pass.  If you are on a two lane highway, move to the right or the shoulder, and slow to allow the tailgater to pass safely.  Then go about your day safely.  Your best chance at avoiding a tailgater on a California freeway is to stay in the right lane(s), for slower traffic and using the left “fast” lane for passing only.

I’m Ed Smith, an auto accident attorney in Sacramento, California.  If you or someone you love has been injured in a car accident caused by tailgating, give me a call at (916) 921-6400 for free, friendly advice.  If you are out of the area, you call call us at (800) 404-5400.

Check out my website at AutoAccident.com, and my reviews on Yelp and Avvo.

Updated:

Client Reviews

  • Me and my wife; had a car accident. We were amazed how easy, professional, friendly attorney Ed Smith is along with his staff. Everybody is amazing. Thank you so much, we are very impressed!
    Sincerely,
    ★★★★★
  • Ed Smith and his office team took on a difficult personal injury case on my behalf and for the passenger in my car. Ed is a top- notch attorney. His staff couldn't have been more helpful and kind. No need to look elsewhere. I give Ed Smith my highest recommendation.
    ★★★★★
  • Ed and Robert have been taking great care of my husband and I for the past 5+ years. They are always there when you have a problem and a quick resolution! Even when the issues have nothing to do with them. They are willing to help ease the pain off your shoulders. They are as good as it gets! Thank you again for everything.
    ★★★★★
  • Very professional. Great team, staff and service all around. Mr Smith was very honest, straight forward with his advice. He gives the word "attorney" an honest reputation. I will seek his council anytime, and would recommend him at the drop of a dime.
    ★★★★★
  • I would highly recommend Ed Smith to any friends or family in need of a personal injury attorney. Ed, and his staff, are very caring on top of being very experienced in this field. The staff always keeps you informed of the status of your case and they are always easy to reach by phone.
    ★★★★★
  • Edward Smith law offices provide competent, thorough, and personable help for victims of personal injury. When you first meet the staff you know you contacted the right office. This law office treats clients like people. I recommend this office to anyone seeking representation regarding personal injury.
    ★★★★★