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Top Tips for Dealing with Tailgaters on the Roads and Motorways

How many times have you looked out of your rear view mirror only to see such a close-up image of the car behind that you can almost make out the logo on the driver’s t-shirt?

Most drivers will have experienced a tailgater at some time or other. In fact, research by road safety charity Brake confirmed that six out of 10 drivers admitted risky tailgating. There could be a number of reasons behind a driver deciding to drive too close to the car in front – maybe they’re distracted, maybe they’re in a rush to get somewhere or maybe they’re just a bully.

Whatever their reasons, they are putting themselves or other people at risk. Not to mention increasing their chances of being landed with an on-the-spot fine. It’s something that causes a lot of stress to many drivers – in fact, the same survey by Brake revealed that over 40 per cent of all drivers worry about tailgaters every time they drive on the motorway.

Tailgating can especially be a problem at this time of year – it’s a common winter driving mistake – so we could all benefit from knowing what to do when faced with a tailgater.

Here are some tips on dealing with a tailgating driver:

  1. Know the type of tailgater – you could be faced with an aggressive tailgater or a passive tailgater. Knowing which type you’re dealing with is the first step.
  2. Let aggressive tailgaters pass – no matter how much they’re winding you up, let them pass when it is safe to do so. Don’t be tricked into thinking you’re “letting them win”, this type of tailgater is unlikely to back off so the sooner you can safely change lanes the sooner you will be rid of your tailgater problem.
  3. With passive tailgaters, remember the “Two-Second Rule” – a passive tailgater is one who drives too close to you but shows no intention of wanting to get past you. Tempting as it may be to accelerate a bit to create a bigger gap, it’s always good to remember the two-second rule and avoid becoming a tailgater yourself.

As Julie Townsend, Brake’s deputy chief executive, puts it: “ignore the two-second rule or the speed limit on motorways and you're putting yourself and others at risk of a horrific crash”.

The somewhat catchy “only a fool breaks the two-second rule” mantra is a good one, therefore, to keep at the front of our minds when we’re out driving.

Slater and Gordon’s expert road traffic accident lawyers can help you if you’ve been injured in a collision with an aggressive tailgater, or any other vehicle for that matter. Specialist legal advice is only a phone call away.

For a free consultation, call us anytime 24/7 on freephone 0800 916 9046 or contact us online.

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