Tailgating is when one driver follows another vehicle too closely and fails to leave enough room to stop to avoid a collision in a situation in which a sudden stop is required.
When weather is good, it is daylight and driving conditions are optimal, a following driver should be at least 3 seconds behind the vehicle in front.
In situations in which a driver is following a heavy vehicle or when it is raining or road conditions are poor, drivers must follow at a greater distance.
Interestingly enough, more experienced drivers tailgate than less experienced drivers.
Why do drivers tailgate
It is unsafe to tailgate or to follow another vehicle too closely, so why do motorists do so?
- Drivers overestimate their skill.
- Drivers follow too closely to intimidate another driver as in cases of road rage.
- The driver is a “hyper-miler” and is trying to save gas mileage by drafting.
Washington Law and Tailgating
Washington vehicle code RCW 46.61.145 “Following too closely” prohibits a driver to “follow more closely than is reasonable and prudent” with regard for highway conditions and the speed of the other drivers.
What should you do if someone is tailgating you?
If another driver is tailgating you, you might feel angry or upset. You might be considering slowing down to piss off the tailgater. But, don’t let yourself get into a dangerous situation. Keep calm and if another driver is tailgating you, you should just move over and let them pass you.
This information is provided by Seattle Car Accident Lawyer blog, a service of The Farber Law Group. We represent people who have been seriously injured in motor vehicle accidents and the family of those who have been killed.