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Drivers Beware: The Growing Issue of Texas Tailgaters

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  • Thursday December 15th, 2016

Most people think that tailgating is a minor driving offense, but it’s more dangerous than it seems.

Not only does tailgating cause rear-end collisions, which make up 23% of all traffic accidents according to National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, it has also caused serious and fatal accidents. Drivers on the road must follow other vehicles at a safe distance, and learn how to protect themselves from tailgaters.

Some drivers tailgate out of road rage, others are impatient, distracted, or careless.

In 2015, the Texas Department of Transportation reported that 25,436 accidents occurred because vehicles were following others too closely. Out of those incidents, 12 caused fatalities and more than 6,000 involved injuries.

While most tailgating drivers do not cause serious accidents, it’s important that drivers know what to do after an accident. Most importantly, anyone injured by a tailgating driver should contact a Tijerina of McAllen or Brownsville, Texas personal injury attorney to explore their options.

The Danger of Tailgating

It’s important to understand the dangers of tailgating behavior.  When a car follows another too closely, the tailgating driver shortens the amount of time and distance they have to stop before striking the car in front of them, if that car slows down or stops abruptly.

Stopping distance is linked to the vehicle’s size and weight. For example, a small passenger vehicle requires less time and distance to stop, than a semi-truck or even an SUV.

The biggest limitation made by tailgating drivers is how well they can see and react.  The driver needs time to see and process whats happening ahead of them, and then react to avoid a collision. With limited space between vehicles, a tailgating driver has a much small chance to react in time.

Tips for Protecting Against Tailgating Drivers and Sharing the Road Safely

ï Keep a Safe Distance: The Texas Department of Insurance recommends a safety cushion of two seconds between vehicles. This allows the following driver to predict movements from the  driver in front of them and avoid a rear-end collision.

ï Switch Lanes: If a vehicle is tailgating, a driver can change lanes to allow them to pass.

ï Extra Space for Poor Weather: Drivers in bad weather conditions will need more time to react in case they cannot see well, or the road is wet or icy.

ï Write Down a Tailgaters License Plate Number: When a vehicle is tailgating, and will not stop, memorize the license plate number, then pull off the road to safety. Contact the local police department and report the vehicle.

How a Tijerina of McAllen Personal Injury Attorney Can Help After a Tailgating Accident

Vehicles tailgating on McAllen roads are acting negligently. Therefore, if a tailgating driver causes an accident, they could be liable for injuries and damages.

A Tijerina personal injury advocate can help accident victims file a claim and get compensation from the tailgating driver. In these cases, a plaintiff may be able to recover damages for medical costs, lost wages, property damage, and pain and suffering.

After a serious accident, injured parties must contact a Tijerina Legal Group P.C. personal injury lawyer as soon as possible. Seek a consultation from Tijerina Legal Group, P.C. by calling 956-777-7777 or request more information online.