Richardson Tailgating Accident Lawyer
Most Texans have been tailgated at some point in their driving career.. Tailgating occurs whenever a driver doesn’t leave a safe distance between their vehicle and the car in front of them. To the driver in front, it feels like the other car is riding your “tail.”
Tailgating is common yet dangerous. It causes many accidents each year. When a driver follows too closely, they won’t have enough time to stop if the front vehicle slams on its brakes due to a hazard. This results in a rear-end collision.
Often, tailgating happens in heavy stop-and-go traffic. It can also occur as a result of speeding or reckless driving, such as weaving in and out of traffic lanes. According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), 61% of drivers surveyed believe that anti-tailgating laws are under-enforced.
Tailgating accidents can range in severity from minor fender-benders to severe crashes. Victims may suffer damage to their vehicle, injuries, or even death. Many tailgating accidents also involve multiple cars.
Have you been injured in a tailgating accident? If a tailgating accident has impacted your ability to work or live a normal life, you can pursue legal damages. Call (214) 740-4556 to speak to a lawyer. Our Richardson, TX legal team offers 100% free consultations.
Tailgating: Never Worth the Accident Risk
One of the saddest facts about tailgating accidents is that almost all of these crashes are preventable. Tailgating happens when drivers hurry. They speed through traffic or crowd the driver in front of them, hoping to get to their destination faster.
When you’re trying to be on-time, there’s nothing worse than unexpected traffic or a slow driver making you late. It’s natural to become impatient. But when impatience turns into tailgating, it becomes a serious accident risk.
Plus, tailgating doesn’t actually change your commute time! If anything, it may make your drivetime even longer. If you’re already a few minutes late to an appointment, imagine how late you’ll be when you cause a car accident.
If you’re ever tempted to tailgate because you’re in a rush, try calming your emotions. Take three deep breaths, listen to calming music, or repeat an affirmation such as, “I will arrive at my destination at the perfect moment.” Don’t let your frustration take control of the wheel.
However, tailgating also occurs when drivers don’t pay attention. This is likely to happen in heavy rush hour traffic. You may end up following too closely behind another vehicle without realizing it.
To avoid a tailgating accident, follow these safety tips:
Give Yourself Space on the Road
Whenever possible, don’t drive directly behind another car. If you’re driving on a multi-lane highway and traffic is light, pick the lane with the fewest cars. Signal, check your blind spots, then change lanes safely. If there are no cars in front of you, you can’t tailgate.
Follow the speed limit whenever you drive. This can reduce your risk of tailgating. When you drive at safe speeds, you’ll keep pace with other cars. You also have more control of your vehicle. Tailgating accidents often occur when a driver loses control or fails to brake in time. Speeding increases these risks.
Use the “3 Second” Rule
If you have to drive directly behind another vehicle, make sure you leave a safe distance. You need to leave enough space between your car and the driver ahead of you so that you could stop or change lanes safely if they suddenly hit the brakes.
But how do you know how much distance you need? Use the “3 second” rule. Look for a stationary object on the road ahead, such as a streetlight or sign. Notice when the car in front passes this object. Then, count to three.
Did you pass the same object before you reached “three”? If so, you need to slow down and give the other car more room. You should be able to count to three (or more) before passing the stationary object.
If there’s bad weather or poor road conditions, double your number and count to six. You will need extra stopping distance if there’s rain, fog, or ice on the roads.
Pull Over if You’re Being Tailgated
What should you do if you’re being tailgated by another car? Although there are steps you can take to reduce your personal risk of causing a tailgating accident, you can’t prevent someone else’s aggressive driving.
Even if you’re driving the speed limit, you may still be “too slow” for some drivers. They may crowd behind you. Then, if something in the road ahead requires you to stop, you’ll get rear-ended.
When someone is tailgating you, you may feel pressured to speed up. However, if you’re already traveling at the legal speed limit, this wouldn’t be safe. Instead, change lanes when it’s safe to do so. Allow the impatient driver to pass. If you’re driving on a one-lane road, look for a turnout and pull over.
Tailgating Accident Liability
In a tailgating accident, liability is relatively straightforward. According to Texas traffic laws, the driver who causes a rear-end collision is the party at fault.
Although there are exceptions to this rule, they are rare. All drivers are legally required to pay attention to the road and avoid hazards. If they hit you from behind, it means they were driving negligently.
However, liability can get complicated if multiple cars are involved. What happens if you get rear-ended and the impact causes you to hit a third or fourth vehicle? Do you share liability? In this scenario, you would need help from an accident lawyer.
Regardless of your situation, our Richardson accident lawyers can help. We’ll hear your case and develop a unique legal strategy just for you. Whether you need to prove liability, calculate damages for a settlement, or take another driver to court, our lawyers are here for you.
Call us today at (214) 740-4556 to schedule your free accident consultation or use our online contact form and our team will get back to you.