Thursday, November 12, 2015

Tailgating Can Lead To Serious Accidents

Clearwater auto accident lawyer explains aggressive drivers
Aggressive drivers are some of the most dangerous drivers on the road. When these individuals let their impatience behind the wheel manifest into aggressive behaviors, they endanger all motorists around them. The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) describes aggressive driving1 as a “serious problem” due to the large number of collisions and injuries that occur as a result.

Aggressive drivers may engage in many dangerous behaviors, including excessive speeding, weaving in and out of traffic, harassing other drivers, and much more. One type of aggressive driving that often leads to serious rear-end collisions is following another car too closely, also known as “tailgating.”

Following too closely is against Florida law
Florida statute2 mandates that a driver should not “follow another vehicle more closely than is reasonable and prudent.” When determining what distance is reasonable and prudent, the law requires a driver to take into consideration the road conditions, type of road they are on, and the speed of the traffic around them. For example, if you are on a highway with traffic moving at 60 miles per hour, you are expected to leave a significantly more room than if you were on a city street with a speed limit of 35 miles per hour. The law also addresses requirements for large trucks and trucks towing trailers or vehicles to leave at least 300 feet between themselves and any other large truck.

If an individual causes an accident due to tailgating, they may be cited by law enforcement officers for violating traffic laws and may also face liability in civil court for any injuries and losses that occurred.

Why drivers follow too closely
There are many possible reasons why a driver may negligently choose to tailgate another vehicle, including the following:

·         To intimidate a slower driver into increasing their speed;
·         In an attempt to change lanes when there is faster traffic in the other lane;
·         Trying to “draft” another vehicle to preserve gas mileage;
·         Because they overestimate their driving skills.

No matter what the reason behind tailgating may be, it is a highly dangerous practice that leads to severe rear-end collisions.

Common injuries in rear-end collisions
A rear-end collision happens whenever the front of one vehicle (in this case, the tailgater) crashes in to the back of another vehicle. These accidents can result in very serious injuries for motorists, including:

·         Traumatic brain injuries – Many individuals in the front car of a rear-end collision hit their head on the steering wheel, dashboard, windshield, or side window. Though airbags are intended to prevent this type of injury, they do not always adequately do so. In addition, simply the jolt of the crash can cause the brain to shake in the skull and can result in damage.
·         Neck and back injuries – Whiplash and similar injuries are highly common in this type of collision due to the nature of the impact. Victims can suffer serious effects of neck and back injuries and may often have to miss a substantial amount of work.
·         Broken bones – A rear-end collision often causes limbs to crack against the inside of the car, which can result in serious fractures in the bones in the arms and legs. These fractures often require extensive recovery time and even surgery.

Find out how a qualified Clearwater auto accident attorney can help you today
Drivers who follow too closely or engage in other dangerous aggressive driving behaviors put everyone else on the road at risk of serious collisions and life-changing injuries. There is no reason why a driver should violate Florida law and tailgate and any driver who does so should be held fully responsible for any resulting accidents, injuries, and losses. At the Dolman Law Group, our car accident lawyers are dedicated to helping you obtain the maximum amount of compensation from an aggressive driver and we will take every step possible to ensure that your losses are covered. We offer free consultations and never collect a fee unless you are able to recover. Please call our Clearwater, Florida office at 727-451-6900 for assistance today.

Dolman Law Group
800 North Belcher Road
Clearwater, FL 33756