With great power comes great responsibility. While having a car may not feel like a big deal, it is certainly a role that offers an immense amount of both power and responsibility. As a matter of fact, a negligent driver can very easily kill someone if not careful and focused. It should come as no surprise then that the pressures that come with driving are very real and very dangerous.
For that reason, it is exceedingly important to make sure that your driving habits are consistent and minimize the risk of getting into accidents. What’s why tailgating – the very antithesis of the aforementioned concept – is such a problem for drivers everywhere. Piling on stress to an already stressful job, tailgating is a significant cause for rear end collisions – the most common form of accidents.
Persistent Bad Habits
Tailgating puts immense pressure on other drivers to go at an uncomfortable speed. Put simply, no one feels safe when the trailing car is close behind – it is incredibly annoying, incredibly dangerous and incredibly unnecessary. Often times tailgating is a futile strategy. For example a car may be traveling at a slower pace because they see a hazard coming up ahead. At that point, as long as the driver is experienced, no one amount of tailgating is going coerce the driver into speeding up.
When you choose to tailgate another car, you voluntarily stick yourself between a rock and a hard place. You either force other drivers to uncomfortably speed up, or stay dangerously close to them. In the end, no one wins!
The negative ramifications don’t end there however. Road rage is a very common aftermath of tailgating for both parties. For the driver being tailgated, they become annoyed and frustrated, as external factors are often the cause for their slower speed. For the driver doing the tailgating, they become annoyed and frustrated if the other car doesn’t speed up enough. Tailgating is truly a lose-lose situation.
How to Look Out for Yourself
Unfortunately, it’s impossible for you prevent other drivers from tailgating. Here are some strategies to use when someone is right on your tail:
- Keep your cool. It’s important to not let your emotions get the best of you in these situations. If you don’t feel comfortable then don’t speed up – worry about your own safety and comfort first.
- Let them pass. The best way to avert a collision is by getting rid of the problem. If you’re on a straight road, keep right and let the aggressive tailgater pass.
- Maintain your speed. Tailgaters might feel uncomfortable trying to pass you if your speed fluctuates or is inconsistent, perpetuating the problem. Maintaining a constant speed will hopefully allow the driver to pass, ridding the issue at hand.
- Don’t tap your brakes. It may make intuitive sense to tap on your brakes in order to “warn” the tailgater to draw back. However, doing so is extremely risky as it could startle the other driver, setting off a chain reaction of negative events.
- Pull over. If the aggressor just won’t stop, then sometimes you have no choice but to cave in. Pull over to the side of the road – if safe – and let the driver pass you. Start driving again when it becomes clear.
As long as you keep conscious of both the dangers of tailgating and commit to the previous tips, driving can be a less stressful experience for all of us!
If you or a loved one was injured or killed in an automobile accident due to another driver’s negligence, contact my office immediately. As your Ohio car accident attorney, I’ll be there for you, and I’ll Make Them Pay!®
Author: Tim Misny | For over four decades, personal injury lawyer Tim Misny has represented the injured victim in in birth injury, medical malpractice, and catastrophic injury/wrongful death cases, serving Cleveland, Akron/Canton, Columbus, Dayton and neighboring communities. You can reach Tim by email at misnylaw.com/ask-tim-a-question/ or call at 877.944.4373.