Dear Reader,

Has this ever happened to you?

You’re driving down the road. You’re not driving too fast. You’re not driving too slow. You’re maintaining a safe distance from the car in front of you. You’re simply cruising down the freeway when someone speeds up behind you and decides to ride your back bumper.

Now, your peaceful drive has been interrupted by a reckless and inconsiderate driver.  You wonder…why don’t they change lanes and go around?  Why can’t they simply back up and drive like a safe, sane person?

Ladies and gentlemen, I wish I knew.  No other driving habit on the road steals my joy, like tailgating.

When drivers tailgate, they drastically increase their chance of causing a rear-end collision.  They make other drivers forced to share the road with them nervous. Their reckless behavior causes uncertainty in other drivers, which can cause them to erratically speed up, slow down, or change lanes to avoid them.

There are many reasons why a driver may need to stop suddenly on the road, and someone tailgating WILL cause an accident if the driver in front must suddenly slam on the brakes.

The National Automotive Roads Fuel Association reports that it takes alert drivers approximately two seconds to see a roadway hazard and react to it.  If a driver is tailgating, they lose that two-second advantage.

Tailgating reduces stopping distance, perception time, and reaction time.  Stopping distance is the distance a driver must have to bring their vehicle to a stop safely.  The bigger the vehicle, the greater the needed stopping distance. Perception time is the time a driver needs to recognize there is a traffic danger, such as a disabled vehicle or a hazard on the road. Reaction time is the time a driver needs to physically react to their brain’s perception.  This is the time your brain needs to send the signal to your body to apply your foot to the brakes or shift into another travel lane.

Tailgating is unnecessary, aggressive, dangerous, and just plain rude.  Often, tailgaters are already distracted or angry about other problems rather than focused on the traffic in front of them.  These inconsiderate drivers are often the ones to display other aggressive acts. They flash their lights and blow their horns.  They cause pointless anxiety and aggravate everyone else on the road. This form of road rage puts everyone at increased risk of an accident.

The fix for this is simple.  Don’t tailgate.

Leave enough room between you and the vehicle in front of you so that you can stop safely.  If you find yourself riding someone else’s bumper, please be considerate enough to BACK OFF.

If you’re unfortunate enough to have one of these inconsiderate drivers behind you, let them pass whenever it’s safe to do so.

Finally, if you or someone you care about is ever injured due to a tailgater’s negligent and inconsiderate driving habits, call me at 703-761-4343 or 301-949-1515.

Until next time, please be safe, and NEVER text while driving!

Paul Samakow

Attorney Paul Samakow


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