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14. Tailgating.

According to research by the Highways’ Agency, tailgating is a contributing factor in more than one third of all crashes on the road and is one of our top causes of car accidents.

Tailgating is when a driver follows the car in front too closely, literally riding up on its tail.  Doing so decreases the amount of time that a driver has to react. When you cannot avoid hitting another automobile, tailgating can cause a car accident.

Sometimes, when a driver is getting tailgated by another driver, the motorist in front gets angry at the person behind them and sometimes will “tap” their brakes (just to get the brake lights to go on) in an attempt to get the tailgater to back off and use a safer following distance. This is very dangerous move and causes needless auto accidents when car drivers lose control or slam into someone’s rear bumper as a result.

Our firm’s car accident attorneys realize that many people are in a hurry, stressed out and believe that tailgating will speed up their journey.  Alternatively, we have seen that numerous tailgaters who have anger management issue, such as road rage, which can be reduced through proper counseling and treatment.  A driver who is blinded by uncontrollable rage is as dangerous as a driver who is impaired by drugs or alcohol.

Tips For Avoiding A Car Accident Caused By Tailgating

  • Drive at a speed that will allow you to stop safely in behind the car in front of you. Driving the speed limit is the absolute fastest you are legally allowed to drive, but you should travel at a lower speed during poor roadway conditions in order to give yourself more time to react.
  • Leave enough space between the automobile in front of you in case it suddenly slows down or stops. A good rule of thumb is to allow 10 feet of distance for every increment of 10 mph you are driving.  For example, 50 feet of distance between cars is ideal for a driver who is traveling at 50 mph.
  • Remember that large automobiles and motorcycles require a greater distance to stop. We recommend that you leave an even larger distance between your car and those types of automobiles.
  • In bad weather (rain, snow, fog, etc.), it is best to double the distance between you and the car in front of you. Bad weather decreases tire traction and causes the slips and skids that can lead to losing control of your car.  You can prevent a car accident by maintaining a greater distance from other cars in front of you.

Timing Rules Used To Avoid Car Accidents Caused By Tailgating

When you are driving a car, it can be difficult for you to determine the distance between you and the car in front of you, so another solution is to remember these three rules:

1.  Two Second Rule

If you are on a dry and clear road, it is recommend that you count two seconds to safely gauge the distance between you and the car in front of you.  When the car in front of you drives past a sign, you should reach the count of two before you pass the sign.

2.  Four Second Rule

This is for when the roadways are wet and rainy.  In these conditions, you should employ a four second safety gap between yourself and the car in front of you.

3.  Ten Second Rule

This rule applies to icy and snowy conditions when the roadways are at their worst.  This may seem like too much time needed in order to determine distance, but every winter car accident statistics go up because motorists feel they can bypass this rule.

Call Our Lawyers If You’ve Been Injured From Tailgating

By keeping a safe following distance, you can avoid a horrific car accident caused by needless tailgating.  Road rage and impatience drivers should never get in the way of you making it home safely to see your family.

If you’ve been injured in a car accident that was caused by  someone else who was tailgating then call us now at 1-800-655-6585 or click here for a FREE consultation with an experienced car accident lawyer. Since 1992, our San Diego law office has been geared primarily towards auto accident claims. We know how the insurance companies work, so let our insider knowledge help you in your time of need.

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