Tailgating - the driving kind, not the sports parties - is a terrible idea for many reasons, first and foremost because it's a sure way to get into an accident. We all have times when we're in a hurry, and it might seem clever to "nudge" the slow driver in front of us to go faster, or just express our displeasure with their incompetence. However, following close behind the car ahead of us means our reaction time is significantly lessened should we need to brake, switch lanes, etc. That's why tailgating can result in an accident before you know what's hit you: the crunch of metal, glass shattering, the sickening smell of engine exhaust...Hopefully the damage is minor and you don't have any injuries, but such crashes can also result in cases of road rage.
While every one of us has places to be, it's best to keep your distance and maintain a comfortable cushion of space between you and the driver ahead. If you are being tailgated, here's some helpful steps to deal with the problem:
- Don't get angry: Losing your temper means you aren't paying attention to what's happening on the road, increasing the likelihood of an accident. Stay calm, it's just traffic, and not worth your life.
- You can pull over and let the driver pass. Let the tailgater go on their merry way.
- Move away from the center of the road. This way, the tailgater can see traffic ahead and eventually find an opportunity to pass you.
- Send signals to the tailgater, such as tapping your brake lights or waving them past you.
- Stay patient: the tailgater might get even angrier and let you know it with horn-honking and other aggressive driving tactics, but keep your cool. Just wait it out and make your security the number one priority.