We know that tailgating is very dangerous. There’s a reason that drivers are told to use the three-second rule: Keeping three seconds of space between cars. It can prevent rear-end accidents.
And still, tailgaters continually break this rule and put everyone at risk. They get involved in the most avoidable accidents. They may even try to blame those ahead of them on the road for stopping suddenly, but the responsibility is almost always on the rear driver to have enough time and space to react. By tailgating, they ensure that they don’t have the time or the space, and they cause these crashes.
Why do they do it? There are numerous reasons.
Not all tailgating is the same
The most common reason for tailgating is simply a desire to drive faster. Someone is trying to make up time, and they want to drive as fast as possible, even if it’s risky. Other potential reasons include:
- Trying to get the front driver to change lanes or move out of the way
- Obliviously getting too close without realizing it
- Tailgating to show anger or frustration after someone else makes a mistake
- Trying to read a bumper sticker or a license plate
- Failing to apply the three-second rule properly, perhaps by not adjusting space for speed
- Failing to leave extra space in a heavy vehicle, like an RV, or when towing a trailer
Whether they do it intentionally or not, those who tailgate put everyone in greater danger than they would be if all drivers just slowed down and stayed an appropriate distance behind the next car. The unfortunate reality is that this practice leads to serious injuries. If you get injured, you need to know how to seek compensation from the driver who caused the crash.