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  4.  » Is tailgating really aggressive driving?

Is tailgating really aggressive driving?

Articles often classify tailgating as an example of aggressive driving. It conjures up a picture of a fuming driver sitting tight on someone’s tail, perhaps hitting their horn in an attempt for the driver in front to let them pass.

This certainly does happen, but often tailgating is not inspired by aggression. Rather, it is inspired by carelessness.

People often do not realize they are tailgating

Many drivers have no clue what a safe following distance is. Thus, they sit much closer than they should but still think they are leaving an adequate gap. Other drivers are just not paying attention. They are engrossed in a conversation with a passenger, trying to read the map on their screen, or daydreaming about something else entirely and end up much closer than they should to the vehicle in front of theirs without realizing it. If they realize what is happening, they will likely drop back a little, but they may drift too close again if they lose concentration once more.

You cannot make someone stop tailgating you

Many people think they should let a tailgater know they are too close. They might do this via a polite toot of the horn, or a light touch of the brake lights. While it seems sensible, these actions should be avoided. The driver who is following may misinterpret the action as aggression and react back with aggression. Or, the faint touch of the brake pads might bring the two vehicles even closer together to the point that they collide.

There is rarely a reasonable excuse for tailgating, so drivers who cause a crash because of it should expect to be held responsible for compensation by anyone they injure.


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