Is that driver tailgating you or not?

On Behalf of | Jul 20, 2022 | Car Accidents |

You look in your rearview mirror, and it feels like the car behind you is just too close. If you were to hit your brakes for some reason, you’re fairly certain that they would run into the back of your vehicle. That could lead to serious injuries for you and your children, who are in the car with you.

But you’re not entirely sure if that driver really is too close or if you’re just nervous. Are they tailgating you? What does that look like?

Less than 3 seconds’ worth of space equals tailgating

As a general rule, if the vehicle behind you is less than three seconds back, they are tailgating you. That’s how large the gap is supposed to be between vehicles. Anyone that infringes on this, even unintentionally, is definitely increasing the odds that you could be hurt in an accident.

What you should do about it probably depends on why it’s happening. If the driver seems aggressive or if you think that they may be experiencing road rage, then it may be a good idea to let them pass. 

On the other hand, if they seem oblivious or like they have no idea that they’re dangerously close, then you want to focus on alerting them as soon as you have to press the brakes. It may help to flash your brake lights first, press your brakes very slowly, and start slowing down long before you need to stop or turn. This gives the driver behind you more time to react because they’re too close.

Of course, you may not be able to prevent a collision if they’re really that negligent of a driver. If you do get injured, make sure you know how to seek financial compensation for your medical bills.