When someone starts tailgating you, it is all too easy to get angry. You may even be tempted to do something aggressive yourself, like suddenly hitting the brakes — known as “brake-checking” the other driver. You may simply start driving slowly to make them angrier and more frustrated than they were before.
The reason you feel this way is simple: When someone tailgates, they’re telling you that they think they are more important than you. They are willing to put you and anyone in your car in danger just so they can get to wherever they are going a few minutes sooner. It’s frankly disrespectful, and you don’t deserve to be treated that way.
However, acting out aggressively yourself is not the way to handle it. The best defensive driving tip you’ll get is simply to let them pass.
On a multilane highway, if you’re in the left lane, just signal and move to the right. If you’re on a single-lane road, consider slowing down and moving over in a passing zone to show them that they can pass you. In more extreme situations, you may even want to look for a turn-off so that you can pull over to the side of the road, let them go by and then safely merge back into the lane on your own.
Doing this may fly in the face of your emotions, but it is safest for everyone involved, and that should always be your focus. However, if you cannot avoid an accident caused by a reckless driver, you do want to know what legal options you have.