Avoid Tailgating to Avoid Car Accidents

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Avoid Tailgating to Avoid Car Accidents
Written By: Josh Lowell ~ 3/2/2020

BLOGPOST_AvoidTailgating03022020.JPGWashington drivers have a duty to drive responsibly. Obviously, that doesn’t mean that we’re perfect, and that’s why insurance and personal injury attorneys exist. What does driving responsibly truly mean? In the grand scheme of things, driving responsibly means avoiding actions (or inaction) that likely leads to causing a motor vehicle collision. That’s what we hopefully learned in driver’s education, and with years behind the wheel we continue to educate ourselves on better driving habits. There are several habits that may not improve over time, and one of the most notorious is tailgating.

The average human has a visual reaction time of about ¼ of a second. At freeway speeds, we travel at least 88 feet every second. In other words, by the time you notice the driver in front of you slam on his or her brakes, you have already traveled in front of you slam on its brake you’ve already moved 22 feet – at a minimum. Throw in tailgating or other distractions and you might move 40, 60, or even 80 feet before you notice the car in front! At these speeds, distracted driving easily turns into an auto crash.

To avoid tailgating other drivers (or avoid being tailgated), there are a few simple rules you can follow:

  1. Leave early – If you aren’t stressed about your arrival time, you’re less likely to speed or tailgate in an effort to make up time.
  2. Drive the posted speed limit – Driving well above the speed limit will quickly find you running into the rear of other cars going slower than you!
  3. Move over or allow the tailgater to pass – It’s not worth the potential collision to stay one car ahead of a bad driver. Quickly moving over or pulling off the road will allow the tailgater the opportunity to pass without causing a collision.
  4. Follow the three-second rule – Here’s a secret: it’s easy to see if you’re following too closely. Here’s how you do it!
    • Locate a fixed point up ahead – any sign, tree, or building will work.
    • Count how many seconds it takes for you to reach your landmark.
    • If it took three seconds for you to reach that point, you’re at a safe following distance!

Tailgating and car accidents go hand in hand. The physics of driving at high speeds prevent drivers from stopping in time while tailgating even if they’re paying attention. If you’re struck by a tailgater, working with an experienced personal injury attorney can help efficiently maneuver through the insurance claim and get you the compensation you deserve. Contact Magnuson Lowell PS today for a free case evaluation!

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