Driving Tips for Dealing with Tailgaters

There is nothing more awful than the feeling that you have when you look into your review mirror only to see the vehicle behind you practically glued to your bumper. Not only is tailgating nerve wracking for the driver being followed too closely, but it is also extremely dangerous for motorists and their passengers. Tailgating or driving too closely behind another car is a major cause of rear-end collisions. If you are driving and find that you are being tailgated, you want to take action to get the tailgater off your bumper. The following are a list of tips to help you ditch the tailgater and get out of this precarious situation safely:

  • Remain calm: Often when motorists notice a driver following too closely they become upset.
  • Determine whether you can change lanes in order to lose the tailgater.
  • If you cannot change lanes, try driving in the right most portion of the lane to encourage the tailgater to pass you.
  • Drive at a constant speed. If the tailgater is driving too closely, he or she may be doing so as a way to motivate you to drive faster. If you keep your speed steady you will make it easier for the tailgater to pass you.
  • Try to increase the distance between you and the car in front of you. This will give you time to slow down before having to slam on the brakes in the event you need to stop suddenly. This will also hopefully give the tailgater additional time so that he or she can brake safely without crashing into your vehicle.
  • If you cannot ditch the tailgater by switching lanes, try exiting the road.
  • A last resort you may also want to try turning on your hazards to alert the driver that you cannot drive any faster
  • Try to stay calm if the driver attempts to communicate his or her displeasure at your riving speed with hand gestures, use of the horn, etc.

Just as important as what you should do if you are being tailgated, is what you should not do. The following is list of things you should not do if you being tailgated:

  • Flash your brake lights or brake intentionally
  • Slow down only to speed up in an effort to increase the distance between you and the offending vehicle
  • Drive erratically or in an unsafe manner in an effort to encourage the offending driver to change lanes
  • Use hand signals of any type
  • Adopt the attitude that you need to teach another driver a lesson

Not only will the above not help dissuade the offending vehicle from following to close, it may actually have the opposite effect. You do not want to trigger a case of road rage in a motorist that is already driving aggressively.

Keep in mind that you are driving too closely if you cannot come to a safe stop if the driver in front of you were to slam on the brakes. It is generally thought that drivers should leave a 2 second space between their vehicle and the vehicle in front of them during dry, daytime driving conditions. This gap should be increased to at least 3 seconds at night and 4 seconds during poor weather conditions.

If you have been injured in an automobile collision you need an experienced Kansas auto accident attorney. With over 35 years of experience, attorney Charles E. Whitman of the Whitman Law Offices, is passionate about helping injury victims obtain the compensation they deserve. To schedule your free consultation call us today at (785) 843-9460. You can also visit us online. We look forward to providing you with exceptional legal service.

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