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Tailgating is dangerous, so why do people do it?

On Behalf of | Dec 14, 2023 | Motor Vehicle Accidents

One of the top causes of rear-end accidents is tailgating. People are supposed to leave a buffer space between vehicles, typically leaving about three seconds from one car to the next. When they break this and drive too close to the front car, it is known as tailgating.

It’s very dangerous because it drastically reduces someone’s reaction time. If something unexpected happens, they are vastly more likely to run into the car ahead of them. Tailgating only “works” if the flow of traffic is always consistent. So why do people take this risk?

They’re in a hurry

First and foremost, many tailgaters are just in a hurry. They’re probably annoyed that the car ahead of them isn’t traveling at the speed they would like to be going, even if they are already breaking the speed limit. Tailgating is their effort to communicate this frustration to the other driver to get them to speed up.

They want to pass

Tailgating sometimes happens on the interstate when one driver wants to pass the other. For instance, maybe a slow driver is sitting in the left lane and refusing to merge to the right like they’re supposed to do. The tailgating driver may be trying to get their attention so that they will move to the side.

They don’t know that they’re doing it

Finally, there are people who don’t even realize that they’re tailgating. They may think that they have plenty of space. They may be distracted by the phone, so they don’t realize how close they’ve gotten. Tailgating is still very dangerous, even when it’s unintentional.

Have you been injured in a car accident caused by a tailgater? Be sure you know how to seek compensation for medical bills and related costs.