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What should you do if faced with a tailgater?

Tailgating – when one driver follows too close to another – can be incredibly dangerous as the driver behind has less time to react should the front driver put on their brakes.

Sometimes, it is an issue of ignorance – the following driver does not understand how far back they need to be to stay safe. Sometimes, it is an issue of distraction – they simply don’t realize how close they are because they are not paying attention. Other times, tailgating is related to aggression – they feel the front driver is holding them up or has wronged them, and they sit on their tail to intimidate them.

In all three circumstances, the way to deal with someone tailgating you is similar. There are two parts to it:

1. Let them pass

How you can do this depends on the situation. It may mean moving across a lane or squeezing to one side of your lane. Or it might mean turning off the road you are on, even if your route requires you to carry straight on.

2. Do not do anything to aggravate the situation

Don’t be that person who hits the brake light to let the other person know their error. Not only does it make a crash more likely, but it is also an act of aggressive driving itself – or at least it could be in the eyes of the other driver and the law.

There is a third thing you may need to do if aggression is an issue – call the police. If you have a passenger, get them to do it. If not, you need to find a way to do so safely, as picking up your phone and calling while driving would be illegal and dangerous in itself.

If a tailgater injures you in a crash, the law will usually be on your side. With experienced legal help, you should be able to get fair compensation for your losses.