Switch to ADA Accessible Theme Close Menu
Free Initial Consultation
protected by reCAPTCHA Privacy - Terms

How Does Tailgating Cause Accidents?


Sadly, tailgating is the cause of many car crashes in America. The reasons for tailgating vary, but often, tailgating occurs due to negligence. Common causes of tailgating include, among others;

  • Aggressive driving
  • Careless or distracted driving
  • Impatience
  • Impaired driving
  • Road rage
  • Driver fatigue

Unfortunately, habitual tailgaters fail to recognize the dangers of tailgating. Many drivers who engage in tailgating have a false sense of security that they can stop before they cause a collision. Because of such drivers, we have put together this brief guide to help you understand how tailgating causes accidents.

How Does Tailgating Cause Accidents?

Smart driving is about a driver ensuring they have the ability to respond as fast as possible to a road hazard. Usually, when it comes to following another car, the general rule of thumb is to maintain at least a three-second following distance. When you leave such a following distance, you give yourself the distance and time needed to react to a potential accident. To know that you are maintaining the recommended following distance, check the rear of the car in front of you. When the rear of the car in front of you passes some inanimate object such as a tree or pole, you should be able to count out “one one thousand.” “two one thousand,” “three one thousand,” before the front of your car passes the same object.

Usually, when a motorist encounters danger while driving, certain factors control how long it takes them to stop their car. These factors are;

  1. The time needed to realize that a response to danger is needed
  2. The time it takes a driver to take necessary action
  3. The distance a driver has to respond to a hazard
  4. The time the car’s mechanical systems need to bring the car to a stop

Tailgating reduces the time and distance that a motorist has to respond to a hazard. Therefore, regardless of how fast a tailgater is able to perceive and react to danger, tailgating will drastically increase the risk of an accident. Consider the example below:

Suppose a driver is traveling at 60 km/h, observe a distance of one second, which translates to around 17 meters. In such a case, if the car in front emergency brakes on a dry road and comes to a stop in 20 meters, an accident will be inevitable. This is because the tailgater will travel 25 meters in the period it takes them to realize they need to brake and then apply the brakes. After that, the tailgater will travel another 20 meters before stopping. In the end, the tailgater will have traveled 45 meters, whereas the maximum braking distance between their car and the one in front, including the 17 meters of following distance, will be 37 meters.

This example shows why it is recommendable to leave a following distance of at least three seconds.

Legal Help Is Available

Contact one of our Fort Lauderdale personal injury attorneys at The Pendas Law Firm to discuss your case if you were injured in a tailgating-related accident. We can help you hold a negligent party accountable and recover the compensation you deserve.

The Pendas Law Firm also represents clients in the Miami, Jacksonville, Bradenton, Ocala, Orlando, Fort Myers, Fort Lauderdale, West Palm Beach, and Tampa areas.



Read What Others Have To Say About Us

  • “I'm very happy with this firm... Joel is an excellent attorney and Carolyn is an amazing paralegal, After been ditched from another law firm, Pendas took care of me and they won my case. I recommend them 100%...” - Jacksonville -

    Maria Pastor
  • “This law firm is amazing. I love how they always try to stay/keep in contact with you. It shows that they really care and want everything taken care of correctly, Thank You!...” - Orlando -

    Shantelle Blackwell
  • “I'm very thankful for all the attention of all the Pendas staff that took care of my case and helped me through the process, thanks for your patience, collaboration and comprehension!...” - Tampa -

    Carlos Guadalupe
  • “The Pendas Law Firm was amazing! They are very kind, professional, and hard-working! They always kept me informed. Larry Trias was great to work with! I always recommend Pendas to family and friends. Thank you for helping me with my case!” - Fort Myers -

    Heather Pepper
  • “Their attorneys are absolutely someone you want handling your car accident claim. They communicated with us promptly and thoroughly. I was very happy with our recovery. Their staff speaks Spanish and you feel like family.” - Orlando -

    Ian Brito
  • “I would definitely recommend this firm. The staff really helps you and they actually show you that they care, especially Siomara Roldan. She has been a great help for my family and myself, she is always helpful with any questions.” - Tampa -

    Wilmer D Santana Rodriguez
  • “Pendas is the best! The paralegals are very attentive to your case, knowledgeable, and communicative! The attorney also won’t just be there the day of your sign up, but all throughout the process as needed. I truly recommend Pendas!” - Orlando -

    Ben Fitzgerald