Tailgating Car Accidents
December 5, 2019
Countless scenarios can result in a car accident. Among the most common are rear-end collisions that occur when a driver follows the car in front of them too closely. According to National Highway Traffic Safety Administration statistics, nearly one-quarter of all car accidents are rear-end collisions, causing nearly 2,000 deaths and one million injuries annually.
The following is what you need to know about tailgating laws, penalties, and claims if you are involved in a rear-end car accident.
Pennsylvania Tailgating Laws
In Pennsylvania, following too closely is a traffic offense. Traffic officers determine if the following driver’s distance is reasonable given the traffic patterns, road and weather conditions, and speed of surrounding traffic. Drivers who plead guilty to tailgating face fines, court costs, and three points on their driving record, not to mention higher insurance rates. Professional drivers stand to lose their commercial driver’s license for tailgating other motorists.
Liability and Rear-End Car Accidents
When a driver’s actions fall short of what is reasonably expected from a safe driver, they may be negligent. Tailgating is just one example of negligence behind the wheel. Other common reckless driving behaviors include speeding, running stop signs and red lights, and distracted driving. Tailgating is not just negligent, but aggressive and dangerous as well. Yet, how is negligence proven in a court of law and how are drivers held accountable for the life-changing accidents and injuries they cause? To prove negligence in a rear-end car accident, four elements must be present:
- A duty of the driver to maintain a reasonable following distance
- The driver breached that duty by tailgating the car ahead
- This breach of duty caused a rear-end collision
- This breach directly caused bodily injuries or other damages
What to Do When You are Being Tailgated
Seeing a vehicle on your back bumper can be unnerving. It is tough to know how to safely deal with someone following too closely, especially at high speeds. The best thing to do when you are being tailgated is to switch lanes and allow the aggressive driver to pass. If that is not possible, leave plenty of room between you and the car in front of you to prevent a multi-car accident.
Tips to Maintain a Safe Following Distance
A good way to ensure you are following at a safe distance is to be at least three seconds from the car in front of you. In poor weather, increase your following distance. If the driver ahead of you is moving too slowly, wait for a safe opportunity to pass.
Philadelphia Car Accident Lawyers at Galfand Berger LLP Hold Negligent Drivers Liable for Accidents and Injuries
If you were injured by another driver’s negligence, contact the Philadelphia car accident lawyers at Galfand Berger LLP for help. We evaluate every detail of your accident to build a strong claim and pursue the compensation you deserve. Call us at 800-222-8792 or contact us online to schedule a free consultation today. Located in Philadelphia, Reading, Bethlehem, and Lancaster, Pennsylvania, we serve clients throughout New Jersey and Pennsylvania, including Allentown and Harrisburg.