Tailgating Can Lead to Serious Car Accidents


Driving on Texas roads is not always a stress-free experience. You may be in a hurry to get somewhere but the driver in front of you is just not going fast enough for you. The temptation to tailgate that car might be very high, but tailgating can lead to serious car accidents and is considered aggressive driving in Texas. 

Reaction Time Matters

An average size car going 60 mph requires a minimum of 240 feet to stop safely once the brakes have been pressed. Before you press the brake pedal, it can take 60 feet just for you to realize that you need to stop in the first place, then 180 feet for the vehicle to come to a complete stop. This does not factor in how heavy your vehicle may be, if the road is wet or oily, or if there is debris in the road – all of which can significantly increase the distance required for the car to be able to stop. Wet roads increase the distance to stop by as much as four times.

If you are tailgating the car in front of you and that car suddenly stops or slows down, there will not be enough time to react to that sudden change. The likelihood of crashing into that vehicle is extremely high and could cause horrible damage to your vehicle and injure yourself and those in the vehicle in front of you.  Auto collisions due to tailgating are incredibly common. According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, 23 percent of all motor vehicle crashes are rear-end collisions, which lead to an average of 2,000 deaths and almost 1,000,000 injuries every year.

Follow Safely

No one likes to be tailgated. It can be a scary experience and can make a driver feel incredibly uncomfortable. When driving, try to keep a good amount of space between you and the driver in front of you. A safe distance would be about 10 feet per 10 mph of speed. For example, if a vehicle is going 45 mph, the driver should maintain 45 feet of distance between their car and the car in front of them. Measuring exact distance is not the easiest thing to do when driving, but there are ways to estimate it, including:

  • Observe cars around your vehicle on the highway and try to stay about five to six car lengths away from a car in front of you.
  • Observe the road markers along your drive. Choose a road marker and watch when the car in front of you passes it. Count the number of seconds it takes between their car passing and then your car passing that same road marker. That time should be at least three seconds. Double that amount of time for wet road conditions. 
  • If tempted to tailgate, make the decision to safely pass the car ahead of you instead.

Drive Defensively

If you are being tailgated, stay calm and try to take a few defensive measures to avoid being rear-ended. Stay in the right-hand lanes to allow faster vehicles to pass while driving. If being tailgated in the left-hand or center lanes, safely change lanes to allow the faster vehicle to pass. Leave enough space between your car and the car in front of you so that if there is a car crash, it will not be a multi-vehicle crash. If driving on wet roads, increase that amount of space to allow for increased reaction time if a sudden stop occurs.

South Texas Car Accident Lawyers

Car accidents caused by tailgating can be confusing, complex, and stressful, but victims don’t have to handle it all on their own. By selecting quality legal representation, the injured won’t have to worry as much about their next steps because they will have the guidance and support of an experienced personal injury attorney. If you or a loved one has been injured or killed in a car accident, contact the Weslaco car accident lawyers at Ezequiel Reyna, Jr. Law Office today to discuss your case. There is limited time to act following a motor vehicle accident in Texas, so don’t delay.

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