For the most part, when you get in your car, you have somewhere to go. Whether you’re running early, late, or perfectly on time, there may be a temptation to drive a little too close to the car in front of you.
Accidents can happen anywhere, but it is often those small mistakes that can lead to big problems. Following closely behind another vehicle is one behavior that can cause a big problem.
Here’s what you should know about tailgating and why it is a safety concern.
Always ready to stop
One of the critical parts of avoiding a crash is being able to stop when you need to, and with enough time to avoid other vehicles. When you follow another car too closely, you reduce the amount of time you have to stop, which is made even worse by factors such as:
- Reaction time
- Slippery roads
- Hauling a heavy load
- Tire and brake condition
It can come down to whether or not you have control over your vehicle when it is time to stop. When driving behaviors line up with being able to stop with time to spare, the chances of avoiding an accident increase.
What to do when about tailgaters
It is not enough to simply avoid tailgating. You need to be aware of drivers who follow too closely and do not give you enough space. They could be the cause of your next rear-end collision.
If you notice someone following you too closely, the best thing you can do is increase the space between you and them. Be careful, however. You do not want to add that space by merely speeding up. Many tailgaters will not be satisfied with increased speed and will continue to follow closely.
Instead, when you encounter a tailgater, change lanes as soon as possible. Ideally, you want them to move ahead of you so they (and their dangerous habit) are safely away from you and your vehicle.
It is essential to watch for those who follow too closely, especially when experiencing challenging weather conditions.