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What is tailgating, and why is it dangerous?

Tailgating, often perceived as a harmless driving habit, poses significant dangers that road users must acknowledge. Tailgating refers to the act of following another vehicle closely, typically at an unsafe and unsuitable distance. 

It’s when one vehicle aggressively trails another, leaving minimal room for error. Tailgating can occur for various reasons, such as impatience, aggression or simply not understanding the risks involved. Knowing the perils of tailgating can incentivize drivers to keep a safe following distance while on the road.

Increased risk of accidents

One of the most apparent dangers of tailgating is the increased risk of accidents. When drivers don’t maintain a safe following distance, they have less time to react to sudden stops or obstacles on the road. This can lead to severe rear-end collisions, which result in injuries and vehicle damage.

Reduced reaction time

Tailgating diminishes the time a driver has to react to changing road conditions. It takes a certain amount of time for a driver to perceive a problem, decide on a course of action and execute it. When vehicles are too close, this reaction time is drastically reduced.

Aggressive driving behavior

Tailgating is often linked to aggressive driving behavior. When drivers feel pressured by a tailgater, they might respond aggressively, escalating a tense situation on the road. This can trigger road rage incidents and further jeopardize everyone’s safety.

Impaired visibility

Tailgating can impair visibility for both the tailgater and the vehicle in front. The closer the tailgater is to the leading vehicle, the less they can see beyond it. This can make it difficult for the tailgater to anticipate potential hazards on the road.

Suppose you get involved in a car crash because the car behind you was following too closely; you can pursue compensation for your losses.