Tailgating is an all too common occurrence on America’s roadways. But before you point the finger at others, take a look at your own driving habits.

How often have you had to brake suddenly to avoid colliding with the vehicle in front of you, or muttered under your breath because the vehicle ahead was traveling slower than you wanted?

While most of us think that we keep a safe distance, nothing could be further from the truth.

Dangers to Consider

  • Tailgating is a common reason for rear-end collisions which often cause severe injuries and  fatalities. In fact, rear-end collisions are the most frequent and most costly type of accident.
  • Tailgating is distracting to the driver ahead – and that fact alone can cause an accident.
  • Tailgating severely restricts your vision, making it likely your reaction time will be slower if something happens in front of the vehicle directly ahead of you.
  • Tailgating is especially dangerous at night because it’s harder to judge distances and your headlights in the rearview mirror of the vehicle ahead  of you can be blinding to its driver.
  • Tailgating is an aggressive driving behavior that is easily mistaken for road rage.
  • Tailgating forces you to react more intensely to every move the vehicle ahead of you makes. The driver is much harder on your nerves and on your vehicle.
  • Tailgating is considered a serious moving violation and can result in a costly traffic citation.
  • Tailgating doesn’t make the person in front of you drive any faster, and may just get them so irritated with you that he or she actually slows down.
  • Tailgating gives control of your vehicle to the driver in front of you.

Prudent Steps to Take

In order to avoid problems with traffic in front of you, slow down, back off and add space. The proper following distance provides better visibility to see what is ahead of you, and gives you adequate time to slow, stop or take evasive action when a hazard is present.

If you must get ahead of the vehicle in front of you, maintain a proper distance and wait for a safe time, signal and pass.