Tailgating is very common. Despite how uncomfortable it makes people feel to have another car following too close, many of them go on and do the same thing to other drivers. Laws against it and drivers' education classes haven't put an end to it. If you've been wondering why people do it, below are four reasons:
Anger, Road Rage and Spite
Tailgating is a common way for drivers who feel slighted to express road rage. Maybe you pulled out of your driveway just as another car came over the hill, accidentally cutting that driver off, for instance. He or she may then tailgate you, even after honking, just to drive aggressively and express anger over your mistake.
Ignorance of the Risk
You feel like it's dangerous to have someone too close to your bumper, but that trailing driver may not fully realize the same risks. A lot of drivers stay too close every time they're in traffic, even though they don't think they're "tailgating" or driving dangerously. They think they're maintaining a safe following distance -- an illusion that breaks down quickly in an accident, but, by then, they can't change it.
Impatience and a Desire to Speed
You may enjoy the drive and go the speed limit, but a lot of drivers are impatient and just want to get that drive over with. They want to speed, they feel like anything else is a waste of time, and they'll tailgate if you decide to stick to the limit. There's no real reason, and they'll likely regret it if they're involved in a crash they could have avoided.
They're Running Behind
Society is very structured around time. Drivers who are in danger of being late -- for school, work, or just a visit with friends -- will often feel an incredible amount of pressure to rush, even when they put themselves and others in danger. They tailgate to tell other drivers to hurry up or get out of the way. Many accidents are caused by drivers who are rushing to something unimportant.
Tailgating is never necessary, but you see it all of the time. When a driver who is following too close plows into the back of your car at a red light or when you slam on the brakes to avoid a sudden obstacle, you need to know if you have a right to compensation. After all, drivers are supposed to maintain a safe following distance and could be at fault in the accident, even if they feel like you caused it by stopping ahead of them.
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