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Tailgating Is an Extremely Dangerous Driving Practice

September 25, 2016

Atlanta Car Accident Lawyer Warns That Tailgating Is an Extremely Dangerous Driving Practice

While failing to allow a proper following distance constitutes an especially dangerous violation of traffic safety laws, the practice remains common. Motorists who tailgate cause a substantial number of serious accidents resulting in severe injuries and fatalities. While most motorists are familiar with the three-second rule, which involves allowing a buffer of at least three seconds between your car and the vehicle in front of you, it is a general rule that does not apply to all situations. If you are traveling at a high rate of speed or driving in adverse weather or traffic conditions, many vehicle safety experts would advise an even wider following distance. 

The practice of following too closely or tailgating is a prevalent component of aggressive driving. While a wide range of violations of the Georgia rules of the road can contribute to serious accidents, tailgating poses a particularly unsafe driving maneuver because of the challenges associated with enforcing compliance. Because estimating appropriate following distance is a highly subjective process, it is difficult for law enforcement authorities to stop and cite drivers for following too close. The difficulty of giving preemptive tickets means that most times a citation for tailgating is issued only after a crash has occurred.

Drivers Following Two Closely Can Increase Both Crash Frequency and Severity

If you are struck from behind by another vehicle when you are stopped, and the other car is moving at freeway speed, you can suffer severe life-altering injuries or even the loss of someone you love. Tailgating is a two-pronged traffic safety hazard because it both increases the likelihood of an accident and also increases the potential severity of injuries. The reason that following too closely increases the likelihood of an accident is that a driver has less time to either brake or use evasive steering maneuvers to prevent a collision. The risk of suffering more serious injuries is linked to the fact that drivers might not have an opportunity to respond to minimize the impact. Alternatively, motorists can be forced to overcompensate because of the limited time to respond, causing them to lose control and rollover or run off the road.

If a tailgating driver confronts you, it is never a good idea to antagonize the offender. An agitated or aggressive driver that refuses to allow a safe following distance can quickly become a perpetrator of road rage when provoked. One approach to avoiding tailgaters is to allow them to pass.

Summoning the Police is Important When a Tailgating Driver Causes Injuries

If a tailgating driver slams into another car, truck, or SUV from behind, the driver usually will be liable for the injuries they cause because motorists are supposed to allow enough following distance so that they can respond if the flow of traffic abruptly stops.

If you are struck from behind by a driver that is following too close and suffer symptoms, you should seek immediate medical treatment. Many injuries that occur in a rear-end collision, such as whiplash, are not immediately apparent. Even when someone does not notice serious symptoms following a rear-ender, a cervical sprain/strain can cause disabling pain and limitations on mobility for months. It is also important to make sure that a law enforcement officer prepares an accident report. The officer will be able to note in the police report that it was a rear-end collision and will typically conclude that the other driver was at-fault. The officer may even issue a citation against the other driver for following too close.

Put Our Law Firm's Over 38 Years of Legal Expeirence to Work For Your Accident Injury Claim.

If you have suffered serious injuries or lost a loved one because of a tailgating driver, our experienced Atlanta car accident lawyers tenaciously strive for the fullest compensation for our clients within the bounds of the law. Montlick and Associates, Attorneys at Law, has been representing those who suffer serious injuries throughout Georgia and in the Southeast for over 38 years, including but not limited to Albany, Athens, Atlanta, Augusta, Columbus, Gainesville, Macon, Marietta, Rome, Roswell, Savannah, Smyrna, Valdosta, Warner Robins and all smaller cities and rural areas in the state.

No matter where you are located, our attorneys are just a phone call away, and we will even come to you. Call us 24 hours a day/7 days a week for your Free Consultation at 1-800-LAW-NEED (1-800-529-6333). You can also visit us online at and use our Free Case Evaluation Form or 24-hour Live Online Chat.

Category: Auto Accidents

Please Note:
Many of our blog articles discuss the law. All information provided about the law is very general in nature and should not be relied upon as legal advice. Every situation is different, and should be analyzed by a lawyer who can provide individualized advice based on the facts involved in your unique situation, and a consideration of all of the nuances of the statutes and case law that apply at the time.