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The Problem of Tailgating

Tailgating is a dangerous form of aggressive driving which is mainly characterized by driving too closely to another motor vehicle thus significantly increasing the chances of rear-end accidents.

The tailgating driver can be either conscious or unconscious of his hazardous driving. Sometimes, the driver does not perceive risk of not keeping a reasonable distance and considers himself a safe motorist but in most cases tailgating is associated with a form of intimidation.

Over the years, the pace of our lives has become faster and our lifestyle busier, consequently the problem of tailgating becoming widely spread as most drivers tailgate while they travel at speed on freeways. The studies show that men are particularly likely to tailgate whereas young drivers are slightly more likely to break the two second rule (the one saying that the driver should stay at least two seconds behind any vehicle that is directly in front of his/her own vehicle).

It has been reported that rear-end collisions account for a high percentage of  total crashes in the USA; to be more precise, an alarming fact is that 66% of all annual traffic fatalities are caused by aggressive driving actions, one of them being tailgating. Therefore, certain measures have been taken to mitigate such severe behavior, such as educating drivers on how to gauge and maintain a safe distance and using advisory signs on highways.

If you are being tailgated, here are some tips which will help you get rid of the tailgater:

Finally, there is one more form of tailgating known as slipstreaming, the technique used by so called hypermilers who believe that they will maximize fuel efficiency by tailgating larger vehicles (usually trucks) on freeways. Unfortunately, not only is this type of driving highly risky but it is also unlawful and barely efficient.

NOTE: California vehicle code 21703 specifically says that the distance between two moving vehicles should be "reasonable and prudent" and failure to comply with this code will result in a fine.

 

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