Tailgating happens when a motorist follows the vehicle in front of him or her too closely and lowers the amount of reaction time that a motorist has to react to a situation. At first glance, it might appear that tailgating is not really that hazardous when driving, especially compared to things like driving under the influence or excessively speeding. However, tailgating or following too closely often causes serious car accidents throughout the country.
Why is tailgating a hazardous activity? Simply put, the closer someone follows the vehicle in front of them, the less time they have to react to a sudden problem that may arise. If the vehicle in front of the tailgater abruptly stops for one reason or another, the car behind them may not have time to brake properly and will rear-end that vehicle. If multiple vehicles are tailgating on the same road, a pileup accident can occur. Additionally, tailgating makes it hard for a driver to notice what is occurring on the road in front of them. If a sudden emergency comes up—for example, if an animal runs into the street—the driver may not be able to see it since they are so close to the car in front of them. The car in front of them may notice the obstacle first and brake abruptly, causing the other driver to crash into them.
Did you know?
If an impatient motorist is in such close proximity to your vehicle that you can’t even see their headlights, how should you react? Calmly.
Do not brake abruptly or attempt to speed excessively in order to get away from the tailgater, as these actions may result in a collision. Instead, signal that the other driver go in front of you or pull over and let them go around you.