You’ve probably encountered an aggressive tailgater before. This person drives as close as possible, maybe even honking the horn and flashing the lights. They clearly want to get by, and they’re intentionally tailgating you so that you’ll either drive faster or move out of the way.
But, if you just drive on your normal commute to work, you may notice that it feels like most drivers are following too closely. They’re not acting aggressively, so why are they doing it? It could be that they just don’t know it’s a problem.
How far is a good following distance?
When asked what their following distance should be, a lot of drivers do not know. Some say that they need to leave 10 feet. Others admit that they have no idea.
The reality is that you need at least three seconds between cars. Ten feet usually isn’t enough.
What these interviews really show, though, is that many drivers are just oblivious. They think they’re driving safely. This is the way they always drive. If there’s a sudden stoppage ahead, they’re going to rear-end your car because they do not have enough of a buffer, but they honestly don’t realize that. They’re just cluelessly cruising along until they cause a crash.
Tailgaters don’t have to be aggressive. They don’t have to be road-ragers. But they’re still dangerous, no matter why they drive the way that they do.
If you get hit and injured by another driver, perhaps because they were following too closely, you need to know how to seek compensation for your medical bills and related costs.