Tailgating is a type of aggressive driving that often causes serious accidents on the road. If you notice you are being tailgated, you should be aware that you are at risk. Another factor to consider is that a driver who is engaging in this behavior is likely to be impaired or angry and may step up the aggression. Some drivers tailgate simply because they are inexperienced or not paying attention to their surroundings. While they may not be aggressive, they still present a risk. Colorado has a particularly high rate of tailgaters, so it is important to watch out for red flags on the road.
Tailgating is likely to result in a rear-end collision, especially if you have to slow down quickly due to traffic ahead or an object in the road. This, in turn, can cause significant injuries as well as damage to your car and anything you may be transporting.
How to respond
When you notice a driver creeping up too closely behind you, your first instinct may be to signal with your brake lights to let the person know he or she is dangerously close. The problem is that you do not know why this particular driver is tailgating. If it is due to aggression stemming from impatience because you are moving “too slowly,” this will only be seen as an answering aggression that encourages escalation. An aggressive driver will probably move even closer, just to show you that he or she does not care what you think. This, in turn, increases the likelihood of a serious accident.
The best thing you can do is increase the distance between yourself and the tailgater as much as you are able. Of course, this will not always be possible if there is traffic ahead, weather conditions that limit your speed or if you run the risk of going over the posted speed limit.
What if you get rear-ended
If you end up getting hit by the tailgater, do your best to give a full report of what happened to first responders who arrive at the scene. It is important for you to get medical attention, even if you do not think you have been seriously injured. Some types of injury, especially to the head, neck or back, do not always show recognizable symptoms right away but need prompt treatment. Do not rely on the checkup you get at the scene.
If you are a victim of an accident caused by tailgating, you may be entitled to several forms of damages, including payment of your medical bills and loss of earnings. Speak with a knowledgeable attorney right away to find out how you can get the compensation you are entitled to.