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How to Safely Handle Tailgaters

Updated July 25, 2020 | By Wilson Kehoe Winingham staff

Tailgating is the dangerous practice of following a car at an unsafe distance, and it happens for a variety of reasons. Sometimes people tailgate out of habit, regardless of how fast or slow the car ahead of them is traveling. However, it is often used to signal the driver ahead that they are driving too slowly. Regardless of the reason, the tailgater places both themselves and the driver in front of them in danger.

Four Ways to Handle Tailgaters

If you are being tailgated, what should you do? Follow these safety measures.

Remain Calm

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 tailgaters.

Move Out of the Way

If you are in a multi-lane highway, signal and then move to the lane on 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 tailgaters to pass. A consistent speed makes it easier for tailgaters to judge passing distances and safely execute their pass. Never speed up when they are passing you. Dramatically slowing down during the pass may interfere with tailgaters if they wish to abandon their passing effort because of an oncoming car.

Increase Following Distance

Although tailgaters endanger you with their actions, you can compensate by allowing more than your usual following distance behind the car in front of you. This practice 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.

Contact a Auto Accident Attorney Today

If you or a loved one have been injured as a result of a car accident, you are urged to contact the attorneys of Wilson Kehoe Winingham. An Indianapolis car accident lawyer from WKW can help you get the compensation you deserve. Call 317.920.6400 or fill out an online contact form for a free, no-obligation case evaluation.

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