Experts suggest that for every ten miles an hour you’re driving, you should be that many seconds behind the car in front of you. For example, if you are going 30 miles per hour, you should be three seconds behind the car in front of you. Five seconds when travelling 50 miles per hour…and so on. Following a driver too closely, otherwise known as tailgating, can lead to unnecessary collisions and/or injuries. Should the car in front of you abruptly stop, you need to allot yourself enough time to react and stop your car before slamming into the back of the other driver. If the road conditions are bad or you a driving a heavy vehicle, you’ll even more time to stop.
Reasons Why Drivers Tailgate
The most obvious reason drivers tailgate is agitation. When the driver in front of you is going slower than you’d like, many drivers follow closely to send a message of annoyance. In this case, tailgating is an act of road rage. Another reason is less intentional; drivers either simply underestimate their own reaction time and the amount of time it will take them to stop the vehicle or are distracted while driving. Lastly, some drivers follow trucks on highways, an act commonly known as “drafting,” to save gas mileage. Drafting allows the car behind the truck to avoid wind resistance, decreasing the amount of force on the car and thereby increasing gas mileage. Drafting is incredibly dangerous and not worth the risk.
Ohio Tailgating Laws
According to the Ohio Public Safety Office these accidents caused 36 fatalities and nearly 19,000 of them involved injuries to drivers and passengers. Tailgating is a serious problem in Ohio resulting in several injuries and even deaths. Recent articles show that Ohio police are cracking down on tailgating. Ohio law states that a “vehicle shall not follow another vehicle more closely than is reasonable and prudent, having due regard for the speed of such vehicles and the traffic upon and the condition of the highway.” While this is a difficult measurement for officers to judge on the fly, they are starting to be more proactive in writing tickets in an effort to halt collisions caused by tailgating.
If you have been in car accident as a result of tailgating, it’s important to contact an experienced personal injury attorney to discuss your options. To speak with one of our Cleveland, Ohio, car accident attorneys contact the Ohio Car Accident Lawyers today.