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Can you stop tailgaters so they don’t cause car accidents?

On Behalf of | Aug 2, 2023 | Motor Vehicle Accidents

You’ve no doubt experienced the frustration of driving along an Indiana roadway with another vehicle traveling right up close to your bumper. Commonly referred to as “tailgating,” this unsafe driving habit places occupants of both vehicles at risk. Many car accidents occur when a tailgater suddenly slams into the rear of the vehicle in front.

You might wonder whether there’s anything you can do to stop a tailgater. There are several things to keep in mind to help you stay safe. However, sometimes no amount of effort on your part will be enough to avoid a collision. If that happens, it’s good to know where to seek support.

To avoid car accidents, try to de-escalate a tailgating situation

Some people think they can take revenge on a tailgater by suddenly applying their brakes. More times than not, this causes rear-end car accidents, especially if the driver in the car behind isn’t paying attention and doesn’t see the front car’s brake lights come on. There may not be enough time to stop without hitting the front vehicle.

Rather than react with road rage, it’s best to remain calm and try to keep your speed steady so that the tailgater will have an opportunity to pass you on the left. If you’re already in the left lane, it’s helpful to try to execute a lane change and move to the right so the tailgater stays in the left and goes right by.

There should be three to four seconds of distance in between vehicles

To determine if you’re following another vehicle too closely, choose a landmark on the road. When the car in front passes it, start counting. If you also pass it in less than three or four seconds, you’re too close.

If you’re the driver in the front car and can’t see the headlights on the vehicle behind you, it is too close to your bumper. If you’re lucky, a police officer will see the tailgater and make a traffic stop.

Remember that the key to avoiding car accidents is to stay calm and avoid acting aggressively, which increases the risk of collision. Also, if someone hits you, and witnesses tell Indiana police that they saw you slam on your brakes, you might be partially liable for damages. On the other hand, if you did nothing to cause the accident, the driver approaching from the rear will likely be responsible for the collision.