What to Do if You Are a Victim of a Tailgating Accident

Side mirror shows trucker tailgating vehicleTailgating drivers are very dangerous on Phoenix roadways because they are following too closely to the car in front of them. The victim, in this case, can feel a sudden moment of panic realizing that they could find themselves in a rear end accident or a road rage incident. Skousen, Gulbrandsen & Patience, PLC does not take these types of car accidents lightly. In fact, tailgating accounts for 19 percent of unsafe driving behaviors reported by driver encounters (National Highway Traffic Safety Association (2002)). Follow this guide to help you should you find yourself a tailgating victim or a tailgating accident.

What Causes Drivers to Tailgate?

Tailgating is not always a form of aggressive driving. In fact, there are three leading reasons why a driver may be too close to the vehicle in front of them.

  • Distracted driving – Those who drive while using their phone are not paying attention to the road and the distance between them and the driver in front of them.
  • Speeding – Similar to distracted driving, some drivers who have a tendency to have a “lead foot” may also find themselves too close to other vehicles.
  • Under the influence – Being under the influence of drugs, alcohol, and even lack of sleep can affect an individual’s depth perception. Due to their inebriation, they may also commit the act of speeding which compounds the severity of this driving habit.

Why Does Tailgating Create Panic for Other Motorists?

If you’ve been in a situation where another vehicle is too close to you, there is often a sense of dread or bracing yourself for impact. Whenever there is a threat of bodily harm, your body naturally freezes or reacts. If another motorist is closer than they should be, many drivers often do these three things: speed up, brake, or switch lanes.  The safest of these three options is to switch lanes to the right-most lane if possible. You could even pull over to the safety zone until the motorist passes you. It’s important to maintain an adequate amount of safety space between you and the drivers in front of you to avoid a collision.

The Ripple Effect of Tailgating Motorist Leading to an Accident:

Traffic jam from tailgating accident aheadAs motorists react to a driver that is tailgating, a car accident could still occur under these circumstances:

  1. If the victim moves lanes, the tailgater could speed ahead and collide with another vehicle that was in front of the victim.
  2. If the potential car accident victim suddenly brakes, then the odds of a collision between the tailgating driver and the victim are quite high.

The difficulty for car accident victims is placing liability with the at-fault motorist. Because tailgating can often result in a rear-end accident, it may be difficult for local law enforcement to rule it as a tailgating accident. This means victims may face a rear-ending citation for an accident that was not their fault. This is where a personal injury lawyer can help.

Our car accident attorneys are well-versed in Phoenix accident law and can help you prove driver negligence. Do not settle or correspond with the insurance company for a tailgating accident because police documentation and accident circumstances may skew your settlement disbursement without the help of a car accident attorney. You deserve to contest liability and get the adequate amount of compensation for your vehicle and bodily injuries. If you or a loved one was a car accident victim related to tailgating, contact us today for a free consultation. We take your injuries personally and will advise you on your next courses of action.

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