Accidents that Result from Tailgating
One of the most common forms of aggressive driving, as recognized by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), is tailgating. Tailgating is a driving practice where one vehicle follows another too closely. Tailgating often leads to rear-end accidents, some of them severe based on the speed of travel of both vehicles. Being involved in any type of accident is always a hassle, even if there are no injuries. There’s still a lot of paperwork, dealing with insurance companies, and filing police reports that cause a lot of anxiety. And an accident that results from tailgating is no different.
Common Accidents Caused by Tailgating
The rear-end collision is one of the most common vehicle accidents in the United States, occurring 28 percent of the time when there is a crash, according to data from the NHTSA. When one vehicle follows too closely to another it often leads to a rear-end collision, because the vehicle following too closely has a lowered reaction time. For example, if a car cuts off the vehicle in front and that vehicle slams on its brakes, the trailing vehicle will likely have trouble stopping before it hits the lead vehicle.
Another common accident caused by tailgating is the accident involving road rage. Road rage often comes into play with tailgating because the lead vehicle driver gets frustrated with the vehicle following too close to them. The lead vehicle will sometimes brake check the trailing vehicle, which is slamming on the brakes for no reason at all but to upset the trailing driver or let them know that they are not happy with the tailgating. When the lead vehicle brake checks, it often causes an accident that results in an angry feud.
Tailgating accidents are also the result of weather issues, such as snow, sleet, rain, fog, or ice. It is recommended that during inclement weather drivers leave plenty of distance between their vehicle and the vehicle in front of them. Inclement weather can prevent drivers from being able to see the vehicle in front of them clearly, which can affect their judgment or depth perception. Tailgating might not be done on purpose in bad weather, but it can still lead to a tragic accident.
Injuries Caused by Tailgating Accidents
Every motor vehicle accident can result in a range of injuries that are either minor or severe. Cuts, scrapes, bruises, broken bones and head trauma can be caused by any type of crash. The injuries that can be caused by a tailgating accident include the following:
- Spinal cord injuries
- Traumatic brain injuries (TBI)
- Neck injuries
- Damage to internal organs
The extent or severity of the injuries will depend on the speed at which the two vehicles collided, the angles at which they made impact, and other factors. Many believe that tailgating couldn’t cause a tragic accident resulting in TBI or another serious condition or death because of the lack of distance between the two vehicles. The sad fact is that a tailgating accident can lead to catastrophic results if there is enough speed and force involved.
What to Do if You Are Being Tailgated
If you ever find yourself being tailgated in Virginia, you need to know how to handle the situation. First and foremost, you should never brake check the vehicle behind you. This can cause an accident and even a fight if the trailing driver exhibits road rage. Try to change lanes, if available, to get away from the driver tailgating you. If you do not have another lane available, turn off the road and wait for the vehicle to pass before resuming travel. Tailgating can turn into a serious situation if not handled appropriately.
Contact an Experienced Personal Injury Attorney
Were you or a loved one injured in a tailgating accident in Virginia? If so, it is important that you protect your legal rights immediately by contacting an experienced personal injury attorney. There is so much that can go wrong when you try to handle the aftermath of an accident on your own, especially in a state like Virginia, where they apply the defendant-friendly “contributory negligence” legal doctrine. Under this doctrine, a plaintiff can be barred from recovering damages if they are found to be even 1% at fault for the underlying accident. This makes it all the more important to secure strong legal counsel as early as possible.
Call the office of the Pack Law Group today at 540-586-7225 to schedule a free consultation or send us a message through our online contact form.