Beware of Tailgaters
We have all been in a driving situation where another motorist is seemingly glued to our back bumpers. It is precisely as dangerous as you think. Motorists who tailgate make our road systems more dangerous.
The Dangers Posed by Tailgaters
While you know full well that it is vital to allow a buffer zone between your vehicle and the one ahead of you, tailgaters simply refuse to proceed safely. We never know what we will encounter on the road ahead, and any of the following obstacles can require a sudden stop or a considerable decrease in one’s speed:
A traffic accident
A vehicle that has been pulled over by the police
An ambulance or fire truck with lights and sirens engaged
A semi’s lost cargo
A blown tire
Weather-driven debris on the road
A deer or another animal on the road
When you have to slow down unexpectedly for one of these – or any other – reason and someone is tailgating you, avoiding a rear-end accident is almost impossible.
Tailgating Accidents Are Often Far Worse than Fender Benders
Many people are under the misguided belief that accidents caused by tailgating typically amount to minor fender benders, but this could not be further from the truth. The impact endured when you are hit from behind by another motorist can be immense. It can lead to immensely serious injuries (especially at higher speeds), including broken bones, spinal cord injuries, traumatic brain injuries, and other types of catastrophic injuries.
Perception and Reaction Times
The Texas Department of Insurance shares that, each year in the United States, rear-end accidents account for about 23 percent of all traffic accidents – leading to nearly 2,000 fatalities and 950,000 injuries. When motorists tailgate, perception and reaction times are sacrificed. Perception time is the amount of time it takes a driver to recognize and adequately process a hazard on the road. Reaction time is the amount of time it takes for a motorist to physically respond to that hazard (by slowing down, pulling over, or doing anything else necessary to avoid danger).
When motorists tailgate, they dramatically increase their perception and reaction times and practically guarantee that a rear-end accident will occur if an unexpected obstacle is encountered. The more space we allow between our vehicles and those in front of us, the more time we allow ourselves to perceive and react safely to dangers on our roadways.