It can be frustrating when you take precautions to drive safely on the road and other drivers do not do the same. You likely have been in a situation where the car behind you on the road drives very close to your vehicle. This unsafe driving maneuver is called tailgating.
You might feel stressed by the idea that if you needed to brake suddenly, this tailgater could rear-end your car. Though you might drive with care, you could still be in danger because of this driver.
However, there are measures you can take to prevent a car accident if you are being tailgated. Read on to find three ways that you can stay safe behind the wheel when another driver starts to follow you too closely.
Exit the Situation If Possible
One easy way to get out of a tailgating situation is to move out of the way if it is safe to do so. Then this unsafe driver will no longer be behind you and will likely drive past your vehicle.
You can put on your turn signal and switch to another lane if possible. If the road has only a single lane, you might want to pull into a parking lot to allow this driver to pass by.
Leaving this driving scenario can make you feel calmer as you drive, which will allow you to continue to stay focused on your own safe driving. It is natural to grow stressed, scared, or angry when faced with this situation. You can make sure you do not worsen things by exiting as soon as you can.
You may not always have the ability to get out of the way of a tailgater. If you must continue driving with someone following at a close distance, keep in mind that you should be careful when possible if you need to brake on the road.
Use your turn signal in plenty of time before braking to make a turn. Tap your brakes and gently slow down. This way, the other car has enough time to react and slow its speed without issue.
Do not slam on your brakes if you can help it. A tailgater might not be able to brake in time to avoid a collision. If you get in a wreck, you can experience damage to your vehicle and your person. If you do get into a car accident, reach out to a personal injury attorney before contacting your insurance company.
Maintain a Comfortable Speed
Your initial reaction to noticing a tailgater behind you may be anger or frustration. You might feel tempted to retaliate by slowing your speed or driving erratically. You should not allow the other driver’s aggression to control your own driving in this way.
Confronting or engaging with a tailgater might escalate the situation and make for more hazardous driving conditions. Ideally, you should stay calm and continue driving at a speed that is comfortable for you. Obey traffic laws and speed limits and do not feel pressured to drive faster to appease the car behind you.