How many times have you been driving when suddenly a car, truck or motorcycle starts following close behind you?
Tailgating isn’t just annoying – it’s dangerous. As a Fort Worth personal injury lawyer, I can tell you that tailing vehicles are responsible for 95 percent of all Texas rear-end accidents, so if you’re the victim of a tailgater, you could be in a hazardous position.
Why Is Tailgating Dangerous?
Tailgating is dangerous because it impairs both drivers’ ability to safely react to other hazards on the road.
Safe drivers must leave a safe gap between their vehicle and the one in front of them. This safe gap is eliminated when tailgating occurs; meaning that if the car in front was forced to suddenly apply their breaks a collision would almost certainly occur.
Why Do Drivers Tailgate?
While there might be a number of reasons why someone is riding too closely behind another vehicle (such as someone driving on autopilot), mostly the tailgater wants to get past you. This might be because they’re impatient, aggressive or else have a genuine emergency. No matter their reason, it’s always best to just try to get out of their way as soon as possible.
How To Deal with an Aggressive Tailgater
Being followed by a tailgater can be stressful and annoying. Looking back at them in your mirror can distract you from the road ahead, making you more liable to wreck. If they are particularly aggressive, it can also cause you to become aggressive in response. In order to avoid escalating the situation, it is always best to get rid of the tailgater as quickly as possible.
Do NOT slow down on purpose to “punish” a tailgater. This does not gain you anything and will only endanger you more. It’s not your duty to show other drivers the right and wrong way to drive – it’s your duty to keep yourself and your passengers safe.
Most tailgaters simply want to get past you. If you’re on a multi-lane road and you’re able to move over one lane and let them pass, then do that.
What If You’re In an Accident Caused By a Tailgater?
First, you should download my helpful guide: Six Things You Need to Know About Rear-End Accidents in Texas.
If you were hurt in the accident, it’s a good idea to consult a personal injury attorney. A lawyer will explain your rights and take over your case to get you the compensation you deserve for your accident. PI lawyers don’t charge anything upfront and don’t charge by the hour.
If you or someone you love has been injured in a crash caused by a tailgater or other aggressive driver, it’s important to realize that you do have legal rights granted to you by the state of Texas. For more information you can request a free copy of my book 15 Mistakes That Will Wreck You Texas Accident Claim.