Tailgating is the dangerous practice of following a car at an unsafe distance and is done for a variety of reasons. Sometimes the person tailgates out of habit regardless of how fast or slow the car ahead is traveling. However, it is often used to signal the driver ahead that he is driving too slowly. Regardless of the reason, the tailgater places both himself and the driver in front of him in danger. If you are being tailgated, what should you do? An experienced car accident lawyer suggests taking the following measures:
Remain Calm And In Control Of Your Emotions
Allowing yourself to feel anger is the first step in losing your control over the situation. A calm state of mind allows you to do the right thing when the opportunity presents itself. It also makes you less likely to engage in dangerous actions that only serve to anger the tailgater. These actions include rude gestures, hard braking, and deliberately slowing down to frustrate the tailgater.
Move Out Of The Tailgater’s Way When It Is Safe
If you are in a multi-lane highway, signal and then move to the lane to your right when it is safe. If there is only a single lane in your direction of travel, pull over when a safe opportunity presents itself.
Drive At A Consistent Speed
On winding roads, driving slowly on the turns and then speeding up on the straight sections, makes it difficult for the tailgater to pass. A consistent speed makes it easier for the tailgater to judge passing distances and safely execute his pass. Never speed up when he is passing you. Dramatically slowing down during the pass may interfere with the tailgater if he wishes to abandon his passing effort because of an oncoming car.
Increase Your Following Distance
Although the tailgater endangers you with his actions, you can compensate for this by allowing more than your usual following distance behind the car in front of you. This gives you more braking distance so that you can brake more gently to sudden traffic changes ahead. The gentler braking makes it easier for the tailgater to respond in kind and thus reduces your chances of being struck from behind.