Avoiding Tailgating Accidents
We have all found ourselves in a situation where we were in a hurry to get somewhere and ended up behind a car that was going much slower than we would have liked. In circumstances like that, drivers sometimes get too close to the car in front of them in an effort to nudge the car out of their pathway. However, tailgating is a dangerous driving habit that can lead to a devastating accident resulting in property damage and personal injuries.
Why is Tailgating a Bad Idea?
Initially, Florida drivers should be aware that the law in the Sunshine State actually prohibits vehicles from following other vehicles more closely than is reasonable and prudent. In addition, when a driver fails to leave enough space between their car and the car in front of them, the tailgating car has less time to react in the event of a sudden change in road conditions. Therefore, tailgating can easily cause rear-end accidents. Unfortunately, rear-end collisions account for roughly 1.7 million rear-end collisions on U.S. roadways each year and result in approximately 17,000 fatalities and another half million injuries.
The best thing to do is avoid being involved in a tailgating accident in the first place.
Tips to Avoid a Tailgating Accident
If Possible, Move
If you can avoid an interaction altogether by safely pulling over or changing lanes and allowing the person who seems to be in such a hurry to go ahead, then doing so can be an easy solution. However, this may be less than favorable when there is heavy traffic around you or if you otherwise don’t feel like you can move out the way without risk.
Don’t Brake Suddenly
It may be tempting to brake if you end up in front of a tailgater because you may be thinking this will make the person back up. However, if someone is following you closely and you slam on your brakes, that person may hit you from behind which could be interpreted as being your fault.
Consider Slowing Down
If no other option seems possible, then simply slow down your vehicle. By doing so, you are also inadvertently forcing the tailgater to slow down which means that in event of a collision, the damage to vehicles and people would likely be lessened. This also eliminates the risks that come with you changing lanes or speeding up when you are already stressed – and instead passes those risks on to the tailgater who will have to engage in one of those actions to get around you.
Legal Help for Victims of Rear-End Accidents
Most tailgating accidents are completely preventable but that fact doesn’t protect drivers from falling victim to other drivers whose aggressive actions cause rear-end collisions. In addition, liability in a rear-end collision is not automatic and there are some circumstances in which the rear-end driver will not be held accountable. The best way to determine whether you might have a legitimate basis for a personal injury claim is to reach out to an experienced personal injury attorney. As the diligent Florida motor vehicle accident lawyers at Halpern Santos & Pinkert, P.A., we have more than 60 years of combined experience providing compassionate and aggressive legal representation to accident victims. We offer free legal consultations to individuals who have questions about whether pursuing a personal injury claim may be the right decision so do not hesitate to contact us today.