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How Does Tailgating Cause Car Accidents?

On Behalf of The Foley Law Firm | May 24, 2022
Can a rear-end collision be the other driver’s fault?

While driving down the expressway, it is not uncommon to come across a motorist that is driving slower than normal. Of course, following a motorist who is not keeping up with traffic flow can be frustrating. However, trying to bully them into speeding by following them closely is never a good idea.

Following another vehicle dangerously close in traffic is known as tailgating, and it is one of the most common causes of rear-end collisions. And studies show that rear-end collisions account for up to 32 percent of all car accidents.

So how does tailgating happen?

Most tailgating incidents can be attributed to the following:

  • Congested traffic
  • Impatience
  • Distracted driving
  • Reckless driving
  • Impaired driving

How tailgating results in car accidents

The likelihood of a rear-end collision increases significantly when a driver tailgates, thus reducing their potential to respond in time should the vehicle in front slow down or make an abrupt stop. Keep in mind that the stopping distance is determined by the vehicle’s weight, size, speed and road factors. For instance, the stopping distance of a sedan is significantly different from an 18-wheeler’s. When a driver is tailgating, they significantly reduce the distance they require to stop when the car in front brakes or slows down suddenly.

A tailgating driver also loses their ability to have a clear view of the road ahead. If you are closely following the vehicle in front, you can only see their rear end instead of several feet ahead. The result, you may not see a detour, an accident, a change in the road or any other issue that could require you to slow down or stop. Tailgating takes away the safe space you need to prepare and respond to a hazard like a pedestrian or an animal that is crossing the road. And the inability to prepare and respond to hazards is a perfect recipe for disaster.

Tailgating is one of the major causes of rear-end collisions. Find out how you can protect your rights while pursuing damages caused by a tailgating motorist.

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