Nearly one-third of all car accidents involve rear-ending. With that in mind, yes. Tailgating can cause serious car accidents. Generally, when tailgating occurs, it leaves the driver a very small margin for error. 

If the lead car needs to slam on brakes to avoid a collision or hazard, the tailgater has little option but to hit the car in front of them. In this article, we discuss everything you need to know about tailgating, how to avoid it, and what to do if you’re involved in a rear-end collision. 

Continue reading to learn more. 

What Is Tailgaiting? 

Tailgating occurs when a person drives too closely behind another vehicle. Most experts recommend leaving at least two car lengths of space between your vehicle and the vehicle in front of you (when driving at slow speed). 

It’s advisable to leave much more space when traveling on the highways or at faster speeds. However, when that space is decreased (even by a few feet), it severely limits a driver’s ability to avoid collisions. 

How to Avoid Tailgating

Most drivers are guilty of tailgating at one time or another. However, it’s in your best interest to avoid the practice as much as possible. With that in mind, you should consider the following when driving:

  1. Remain conscious of your surroundings
  2. Limit distractions (i.e., cell phones, food, etc.)
  3. Keep as much space between you and the next driver as possible
  4. If you’re tired, pull over and take a nap in a safe place
  5. Get your brakes, tires, and tire pressure checked regularly 
  6. Don’t be in a rush when driving – it can be deadly 

You can control whether or not you tailgate other vehicles. However, you have no control over other drivers on the road. Continue reading to learn tips to stay away from tailgaters while driving. 

How to Stay Away From Tailgators

Tailgating isn’t always due to intentional recklessness. On the contrary, most tailgaters are not aware of their proximity to the car in front of them due to several factors such as:

  • Driving while fatigued
  • Driving while distracted 
  • Driving aggressively
  • Drunk or drugged driving 

Suppose you notice a car tailgating your vehicle or another close-by vehicle. In that case, it’s recommended that you move your car to the shoulder and allow the tailgater to pass. 

If that’s not possible under the circumstances, take the soonest turn off the road or highways that you can.  If you’re unable to get away from another car driving too close to yours, it may be helpful to drive a bit slower. That may incentivize the tailgating driver to switch lanes. 

The most important thing here is to pay attention to other drivers around you and take precautions when you notice tailgating. Doing so could save you a lot of frustration, pain, time, and potentially, money. 

Who’s at Fault in Tailgating Accidents? 

In most cases, the tailgater is liable for accidents. The logic is that they may have avoided the accident if they allowed the recommended space between the next car. However, in some cases, the lead driver is liable for tailgating accidents. 

A few possible scenarios that could result in the lead driver being held liable for an accident include but are not limited to: 

  • The lead driver unlawfully or recklessly pulled in front of the rear driver 
  • The lead driver slams on the brakes for no apparent reason
  • Instances of road rage or insurance fraud 
  • Drunk or drugged driving 
  • The lead driver was distracted 

It’s not easy to prove the lead driver is responsible for a car accident. However, it’s not impossible either. 

If you’re involved in a rear-end collision (where you believe it was the lead driver’s fault), it’s in your best interest to identify as many eyewitnesses as possible before leaving the scene. 

What to do If You Are Injured in a Tailgating Accident

Common injuries in tailgating accidents include whiplash, traumatic brain injury (TBI), injuries to the lower extremities,  facial injuries, and more. If you’re injured in a rear-end collision, it’s in your best interest to take the following steps: 

  1. Check on the other driver’s involved in the accident
  2. Contact the police, notify your insurance, and call an ambulance if necessary 
  3. Call an experienced auto accident lawyer
  4. Collect evidence at the scene (i.e., pictures, videos, eyewitness information) 
  5. Seek immediate medical attention

If you’ve been injured in a tailgating accident in Florida, working with a proven auto accident lawyer can be the difference between maximum compensation and no compensation. 

Contact Schrier Law Group for your free initial consultation with a proven auto accident lawyer in Florida today.