Q: What are the risks of tailgating?
Vehicle accidents are often caused by a driver following a car too closely, also known as tailgating. Tailgating is especially dangerous at highway speeds, since braking distances are longer and visibility is limited by the vehicle in front.
According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, rear-end accidents are responsible for about 23 percent of all vehicle collisions, causing approximately 950,000 injuries and 2,000 deaths.
Tailgating Accident Injuries
Rear-end collisions caused by tailgating can lead to serious health complications, including:
- Spinal cord injuries. These are the most debilitating injuries caused by vehicle accidents. Collision forces can result in vertebrae fracture or compression, leading to spinal cord damage. These injuries often cause paralysis, requiring extensive physical therapy.
- Traumatic brain injuries. When the violent force of a rear-end collision causes the brain to impact the skull, there's often bruising (hematoma) or bleeding (hemorrhage) of the brain. This builds up pressure in the skull, leading to brain malfunctions and life-threatening loss of control over breathing and heart rate.
- Whiplash. This is a common tailgating accident injury. When the impact force is transferred to a passenger in a rear-end collision, it may result in sudden acceleration of the upper spinal cord and head, followed by a rapid backward motion. This causes soft tissue damage resulting in symptoms including headaches, neck pain, dizziness, and shoulder pain.
Tailgating Accident Negligence
If a driver maintains a safe following distance, he should be able to brake in time to avoid a collision, even when the lead driver stops unexpectedly. Therefore, when rear-end collisions are caused by a tailgating motorist crashing into the vehicle in front of him, courts typically find the tailgater liable.
As a form of reckless driving, tailgating is both illegal and dangerous. If you’ve been injured due to the irresponsible actions of a tailgating driver, you deserve compensation. To discuss your claim, contact the law offices of Steve M. Lee, P.C., by using the form on this page.