There are tens of thousands of accidents on the roads in the US every year, and unfortunately, they cause a huge amount of serious injury and damage to vehicles and property. Perhaps the most frustrating thing about the excessive number of accidents is how preventable many of them are. One of the most preventable causes of accidents is tailgating. Tailgating is the practice of driving right up behind someone else’s car. It is deemed by many police and traffic authorities to be the single most dangerous driving practice behind drunk driving and driving under the influence of drugs.
In this article, we will explain why tailgating can lead to accidents.
Tailgating is Often A Symptom of Other Negligent Driving
Many people believe that the main cause of tailgating is because the driver behind them is impatient. While that certainly is one of the reasons, it is not the main cause of tailgating. Most tailgating related accidents happen during rush hour on the roads when people are moving slowly in heavy traffic. Especially in the morning when people are heading out to work, there are so many drivers who do not pay close enough attention to the car in front of them. It is shocking how many drivers try to use the morning commute as an opportunity to get ready. Drivers do their makeup, fix their hair, drink coffee, and even read the news or text on their phones. In times of heavy traffic, even a momentary lapse of concentration can result in you ending up far too close to the person ahead of you. If they have to brake or slow down and you are not aware, you can easily crash into the back of them.
Tailgating Causes Nervousness
There are far too many drivers who treat the speed limit and road laws in general with total contempt. Not only does their reckless driving endanger themselves, but it also endangers everyone else on the road. These bad drivers will pull right up behind the driver in front of them and stay right on their tailgate in a very aggressive and dangerous fashion. This is usually to try and intimidate the other driver into speeding up or moving aside to let them through. The experts at
explained that this is how many tailgating accidents occur. The driver in front may already be doing the speed that they are comfortable with, and speeding up may cause them to break the speed limit or have insufficient control of their car.
Furthermore, there may not be any way for them to move aside to let the car behind them pass. This is a recipe for disaster because if the other car stays right up behind them at high speed if they have to break for any reason, it is very likely that there will be an accident. Having someone tailgating makes most drivers feel very nervous, and this can also affect their driving and lead to an accident. It can be very disconcerting to have someone right up behind you and so you will probably keep checking your mirrors, which will take your attention from the road. At high speeds, a split second is enough for something to happen, which can cause a major incident.
Tailgating Accidents Often Involve Multiple Cars
Once one car crashes into the back of another, especially in traffic or at high speed, the chance of a knock-on effect involving other vehicles is very high. Often in heavy traffic, the vehicle behind the one tailgating will not have time to react to the accident and will end up crashing into the back of the tailgating car. When tailgating has caused an accident on a high-speed road or highway, the car in front can end up being pushed into another lane or even onto the other side of the road into oncoming traffic. The consequences of this can be deadly, and there have been some tragic multi-vehicle pile-ups that occurred as a result of tailgating.
Tailgating is such a dangerous thing to do on the roads, and moreover, it is totally unnecessary. The extent of the injury and damage that can be caused as the result of a tailgating related accident is enormous, and yet people still continue to engage in tailgating out of impatience or a lack of regard for other road users. Tailgating leads to a huge proportion of the accidents on our roads, and these accidents are so preventable. Keep a safe distance between your car and the car in front and not be impatient or reckless when driving.