Drivers should leave a safe distance from each other. This way, if the front vehicle needs to stop suddenly, the one behind will have enough time to respond safely. Following too closely omits this safety as the driver behind will run into the front car upon a sudden stop.
According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), tailgating is one of the most unsafe behaviors on the road. This guide discusses some of the most common reasons drivers tailgate:
1. Drunk driving
A drunk driver can have impaired judgment, which means they may not determine a safe distance. Such a driver may tailgate you, believing they are not that close to your vehicle. In addition, a drunk driver may do this out of amusement. It’s annoying and dangerous, but since they may have a false sense of invincibility, they can have fun following your vehicle very closely.
2. Lack of perceived risk
Some drivers are overconfident – they may tailgate you because they don’t perceive any risk. A driver in this category may believe nothing can happen to cause you to stop suddenly. But this is not always the case.
3. A difference in speed levels
Another reason a driver may tailgate you is that they perceive you are going too slowly, and they want to go faster. Thus, they may come very close to your car to push you to increase your speed, especially when they can’t overtake you. You don’t need to follow their desired speed levels. Keep the speed you feel safe at, and when it’s possible to overtake, allow them to pass.
A driver who is in a hurry may frustrate you. This can take your concentration off the road. It will help to stay calm throughout the encounter. If you are involved in a rear-end accident due to tailgating, however, you should get experienced legal help to receive the compensation you deserve.