Tailgating is a Leading Cause of Car Accidents - Here's How You Can Stay Safe!

by Christopher Hoffmann on Oct. 15, 2019

Accident & Injury Accident & Injury  Car Accident Accident & Injury  Personal Injury 

Summary: One common action that can lead to rear-end collisions is tailgating - when someone drives too close to the vehicle in front of them.


Estimates show that there are about 1.7 million rear-end collisions in the United States each year. Around 1,7000 people die in these collisions, while another 500,000 are injured.


One common action that can lead to rear-end collisions is tailgating -  when someone drives too close to the vehicle in front of them. Michelin reported that around 74% of drivers have been tailgated, while only 11% have admitted to committing this act themselves. What’s more, around 47% of them did not know the safe distance to keep between the cars.


It’s important to stay safe if a car is tailgating you, as it’s most often a recipe for disaster. Here are some tips for staying safe.


What Can You Do?

If you want to keep a safe distance between yourself and other cars, shoot for 10 feet per 10 mph of speed. So, if a car is driving 50 mph, you’d need about a 5 feet distance to ensure a safe drive distance.


The more space you have, the better the chances to avoid a potential collision, which can happen for several reasons:

  • A sudden malfunction of the car in front

  • A loose object on the road

  • A sudden change in direction (without signaling), etc.


Of course, in real life it may be somewhat difficult to always keep the safe distance between you and other vehicles, not to mention that it may be hard to estimate the distance while driving. As a result, keep in mind these following tips:


  • If you want to pass, signal the driver you intend to do it, and wait for them to give you space. Don’t drive close to them first, as you don’t know whether the driver is paying enough attention to the surroundings to notice you in time

  • If you see a driver coming close to your vehicle, try to make room for them to pass

  • Drive in the right lane, as it will allow you to slow down and leave enough space between your car and the vehicle that just passed you

  • Be patient. Tailgating is often a sign of frustration, caused by the driver being in a rush to reach their destination. But your safety is worth being a bit late;

  • Pay attention. A good portion of tailgating can happen in slow traffic where the cars aren’t stopped but are driving at very low speeds. This gives drivers a small sense of security that nothing can go wrong, but it only takes one moment of not paying attention for a collision to occur.


Have you been the victim of a car accident where you’ve been tailgated? Our experienced legal team can help you understand what you are legallly entitled to. Give us a call 24/7 at (314) 361-4242 for FREE consultation.

Legal Articles Additional Disclaimer

Lawyer.com is not a law firm and does not offer legal advice. Content posted on Lawyer.com is the sole responsibility of the person from whom such content originated and is not reviewed or commented on by Lawyer.com. The application of law to any set of facts is a highly specialized skill, practiced by lawyers and often dependent on jurisdiction. Content on the site of a legal nature may or may not be accurate for a particular state or jurisdiction and may largely depend on specific circumstances surrounding individual cases, which may or may not be consistent with your circumstances or may no longer be up-to-date to the extent that laws have changed since posting. Legal articles therefore are for review as general research and for use in helping to gauge a lawyer's expertise on a matter. If you are seeking specific legal advice, Lawyer.com recommends that you contact a lawyer to review your specific issues. See Lawyer.com's full Terms of Use for more information.