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Explaining The Risks Involved With Tailgating

Proper Following Distances

We all learned in driver’s education that the proper following distance is generally two seconds in city traffic and four seconds on the highway. These distances have been taught because that’s usually the amount of time required to safely maneuver around a problem that could arise in front of us. Unfortunately, many people simply disregard these recommended distances, and at other times congestion can make adhering to these distances all but impossible.

The Physics of Tailgating

When someone is following the vehicle in front of them too closely, it substantially cuts down the amount of reaction time available when something unforeseen arises. Even a relatively mild tap on the brakes for some reason by the vehicle that’s being trailed can immediately lead to a rear-end collision. While the mathematical difference between proper following distance and tailgating could only be one second or even less, fractions of a second can and do make the difference between avoiding a collision and disaster.

Effects of Tailgating on the Lead Vehicle’s Driver

When someone is moving down the road and they notice a vehicle behind them that’s too close for comfort, it leads to a development of nervousness in that lead driver. Anyone who is nervous is prone to mistakes that include unpredictable movements and the clouding of judgment. When vehicles are moving at a high rate of speed, these unpredictable movements can lead to a chain reaction of mistakes, all of which are exacerbated because of the lack of time and distance available to avoid making the situation worse for everyone involved.

If you notice that you’re prone to following vehicles in front of you too closely, take steps to correct this bad habit. If you or someone you love has been harmed because of tailgating, contact the Miami car accident lawyers at Bernstein & Maryanoff today to schedule a free initial consultation.