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Tailgating is a dangerous driving habit

On Behalf of | Mar 29, 2024 | Car Accidents |

Drivers on Texas roadways must be on the lookout for others who aren’t driving safely. When you navigate roads throughout the state, especially highways where speed limits are higher, you may encounter motorists who aren’t being cautious and who have dangerous driving habits. One such habit, tailgating, can lead to serious accidents. Tailgating is a problem with both large trucks and smaller passenger vehicles. By understanding the risks of tailgating and knowing what to do when someone is tailgating your vehicle, you may be able to avoid an accident.  

The dangers of tailgating 

Tailgating is a contributing factor in nearly one-third of all accidents, some of which are fatal. When someone tailgates, they greatly reduce their ability to react quickly if something goes wrong. Tailgating also limits the visibility of the driver, which can prevent you from seeing what’s happening and being able to react to a change in traffic patterns to avoid a collision. When driving at night, a tailgating driver’s headlights will affect the other driver’s visibility by shining into their mirrors. 

Crashing into the rear of the vehicle, especially at a high rate of speed, can cause rollovers, which often result in injuries. Collisions involving tailgating often lead to chain reaction crashes, which can mean more injured victims. Rear-end collisions can cause back and neck injuries, leaving victims with lifetime pain, and in some cases, disabilities.  

Safely avoid tailgating 

The two-second rule means that you should always have at least two seconds between yourself and the car in front of you. During inclement weather and higher speeds, this distance increases more. Keeping this safe distance ensures that you have time to stop if the vehicle in front of you slows or stops abruptly.  

If you know the dangers of tailgating, you’re less likely to do it when driving, but that doesn’t prevent others on the road from tailgating you. Tailgating is often an aggressive way of driving, which can lead to road rage if you don’t get away from that driver promptly. If someone is tailgating you in the left lane, move over to the right lane as soon as it’s safe to do so and allow the tailgating driver to pass you. Alternately, if someone is tailgating you on a two-lane road, consider finding a safe spot to pull over so the aggressive driver can pass you.  

Legal help after an accident 

If you’re injured in a crash where tailgating or other negligent behavior was involved, you can seek compensation for your injuries. Once you’re through the initial healing process, you can benefit from consulting with a Texas personal injury attorney to better understand your legal options. Financial compensation can help you pay for accident-related expenses so you can focus on recovering.