Dangers of Following Too Closely While Driving
Many people feel that if they are almost bumper-to-bumper with the vehicle in front of them, they will arrive at their destination much faster. This is called Tailgating and is one of the most common reasons for vehicle collisions. According to the United States DPS, it is the 5th leading cause of vehicle collisions in the country.
Tailgating is essentially a ticketable offense; more importantly, it’s extremely dangerous to the driver who is tailgating as well as the vehicle that’s being tailgated. In case the car in front has to slam on its brakes suddenly, the car just behind it is left with no time at all to react to this situation. In fact, the vehicle at the back is just adding to the danger in this situation. Instead of 2 cars being involved in the accident, there will now be 3.
If more cars are tailgating the situation can reach disastrous proportions. Many accidents and deaths can be prevented by just leaving a sufficient amount of space between vehicles, to allow for any sudden stops. The situation becomes worse when people tailgate in inclement weather. When it’s snowing or raining, it’s smarter to leave more space between your own vehicle and the one in front of you.
Things to Remember
This is because the road will be wet and icy and it takes much longer for cars to stop when they brake. But when people do not practice defensive driving, they are simply increasing the odds of an accident taking place. Here are a few things you should do if you are being tailgated:
- Move over onto another lane & allow the driver to pass, this is possible if there are multiple lanes
- Ease off the accelerator and slow down enough for the vehicle to go right around you
- Tap your car brakes to indicate to the vehicle behind that they’re too close
- Under no circumstances should you slam on the brakes, this will only aggravate the situation
- Another popular way of telling the driver behind you, to give you some room is to tap your rearview mirror
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