Tailgating Can Lead to Serious Accidents

AUTHOR: A.J. Bruning | July 17, 2015
Tailgating Can Lead to Serious Accidents

When you are trying to make it on time for work or to an important appointment during rush hour, but the car in front of you is not going fast enough, it is easy for impatience and aggression to rise. However, when drivers are impatient and aggressive on the road it can result in serious auto accidents. In these circumstances, a driver often too closely follows the vehicle in front of them as described by the term “tailgating.” There are two main reasons why tailgating is dangerous. First, when a driver follows too closely to another vehicle it puts pressure on the driver in front which can be a distraction. Second, the close proximity of the two vehicles closes any potential safety gap to prevent a collision between the cars, because there is a minimal time to react and slow down if the front car unexpectedly stops. This aggressive tailgating behavior puts the driver themselves and all fellow drivers at risk for collision resulting in physical injury and property damage.

Common Driving Habits that Lead to Auto Accidents

There is two common scenarios that create a rear-end collision because of a driver’s tailgating. The first scenario occurs when there is a sudden deceleration by the first car (due to a driver avoiding impact with a crossing pedestrian, road hazards, or another vehicle) and the car following does not have adequate time to fully brake and collides with the first car. The second common scenario does not involve any reduction in speed by the first car, but merely acceleration of the second car at a more rapid rate then the first car is driving.1

Tailgating is a Form of Aggressive Driving

According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, tailgating is a form of aggressive driving which is defined as the operation of a vehicle in a manner that endangers or likely will endanger persons or property. In a study conducted by the NHTSA, 67 percent of drivers felt their safety was threatened during the last year from aggressive behaviors by fellow drivers such as tailgating.2

How to Prevent Car Accidents Caused by Tailgating

Tailgating accidents can be prevented. Drivers should remember to follow posted speed limits, use signals, slow down before stopping, keep adequate distance between cars typically 10 feet for every 10 mph you are driving, use the left lane only for passing, and increase cautious behavior while driving in bad weather or hazardous road zones.

Contact an Experienced St. Louis Car Accident Lawyer for a Free Consultation

If a tailgating accident occurs despite preventative steps, it is important to seek medical attention since some internal injuries are not apparent. It is also important to seek the advice of an experienced auto accident attorney who can help to ensure your rights and interests are protected. To contact a car accident attorney for a free consultation about the circumstances of your car accident please feel free to call the The Bruning Law Firm trial attorneys at 314-735-8100.


  1. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Rear-end_collision
  2. http://www.nhtsa.gov/people/injury/aggressive/aggproplanner/page05.htm

A.J. Bruning


I was born and raised to represent individuals who have been needlessly injured. I mean that literally. At a young age my father would tell me about the clients he was representing. I would meet them and take pride in their admiration of my father. I always knew I wanted to be a lawyer and represent clients that needed my help.

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