What are the dangers of tailgating?

Caution, prudence and adherence to good driving practices might reduce accidents on Illinois roads. Unfortunately, some drivers may get into bad habits that increase the chances of a collision. Tailgating reflects one such dangerous practice; it involves following a car far too close for comfort to force the vehicle to change lanes. If the vehicle changes lanes, the tailgater tries to pass. Tailgating remains a dubious strategy since it is a moving violation that may compromise safety.

Tailgating and its dangers

On highways, vehicles travel at high speeds. When a car drives at 60 MPH, it could take the vehicle 240 feet to come to a complete stop. And this assumes road conditions and speed are normal. In snowy and rainy weather, slick roads make stopping even more difficult. What if a car travels 70 MPH? The high rate of speed would add further challenges to bringing the vehicle to a complete stop.

Now, think of the dangers when someone decides to tailgate a car while traveling over 60 MPH in the rain. If the lead car stops because of an object in the road, a deer darting out or anything else, the tailgating vehicle may not be able to avoid a crash. The result could prove catastrophic.

Accident stats and tailgating accidents

The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration published sobering figures about tailgating accidents. More than 2,000 fatalities and 950,000 injuries occurred from rear-end collisions. Following too closely remains a top cause for these collisions.

Drivers who tailgate for any reason may contribute significantly to the results of a car accident. A civil suit may likely follow. Imagine if rearview dashcam footage recorded a driver tailgating, flashing high beams and beeping the horn. Such evidence might not look good in court for the defendant.

Tailgating may increase the risk of injurious and fatal car accidents. Those injured by a tailgating driver may wish to speak with an attorney.