Tailgating is an aggressive driving maneuver that often leads to accidents. Although it is illegal in many states and can result in serious damage, tailgating is a common occurrence on the road. For assistance with your accident case or for more information on tailgating, contact a Pike County, KY auto accident lawyer today.

What is Tailgating?

Tailgating is simply the act of driving too closely behind another vehicle. When a driver does not leave sufficient space between their car and the car in front of them, they will probably not be able to avoid a collision if the vehicle in front stops suddenly.

People may slam on the brakes for any number of reasons. Traffic ahead of them could have unexpectedly slowed, an animal or pedestrian might have run out into the road, or there may be an unforeseen hazard they want to avoid. If you do not have adequate space between cars there is no way to anticipate this stop and brake in time to prevent an accident.

The time that it takes to bring a moving car to a complete stop is called stopping distance. It is calculated by combining a person’s reaction time with the car’s required braking time. While many people believe that two car lengths is enough distance between cars, the faster you are traveling the more distance you should keep. After considering the amount of time a driver needs to perceive the danger and react, a car traveling at 60 miles per hour may require 240 feet to come to a complete stop.

When a car is tailgating they are probably keeping less than one car length between themselves and the car ahead. If the front car brakes suddenly there will surely be an accident.

How Many Accidents Does Tailgating Cause?

Tailgating is a major cause of car accidents. According to studies conducted by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, more than 33% of all car accidents are rear-end collisions. Tailgating contributes to a serious amount of auto accidents on American roads.

Because of the close distances between cars, tailgating can be extremely dangerous. It most often occurs on highways and freeways which are known for high speeds. When a collision occurs at excessive speed the impact will be much greater, causing extensive damage. Any auto accident can result in property damage, injury, and death, but tailgating accidents on major roadways can cause those repercussions to be even more severe.

Why do People Tailgate?

If tailgating is so dangerous, why do people do it? Whether they know the dangers or not, there are a lot of tailgaters on the road. Drivers may not realize they are tailgating because they are not aware of the dangers of not leaving enough space between cars. They also may be distracted and unaware of how close they have gotten while they eat, text, or perform other distracting activities.

A major reason people tailgate is because of road rage. Aggressive driving is a serious issue on the road and tailgating can be used to show someone you are irritated with them. Many people use tailgating as a show of anger or a tool to scare other drivers.