Nobody likes traffic. But some drivers engage in dangerous behavior to get to their destination faster or simply vent their frustration. They follow too closely and don’t give other drivers the space they need. Tailgating can easily lead to a major car accident and severe injuries for those involved.

At Brooks Law Group, we understand the havoc that tailgating can wreak upon innocent people’s lives. Victims hurt in Tampa tailgating accidents often face painful injuries and significant financial strain due to crash-related medical expenses and lost income. You don’t have to take on these challenges on your own. Our Florida personal injury law firm is ready to help you seek fair compensation for your losses.

Our experienced legal team will deliver the outstanding legal services and compassionate care you deserve. You and your injuries matter, and you can rely on Brooks Law Group to develop a solid legal strategy and support you through the duration of your case.

Call or reach out to us using our live chat or online form for a free consultation with a car accident lawyer in Tampa, FL.

What Is Tailgating?

Tailgating is the act of following someone else too closely while operating a vehicle. But what counts as “too closely” may depend on the facts of the situation. According to Florida law, it’s illegal for drivers to follow more closely than is reasonable and prudent for the circumstances. Unfortunately, that doesn’t make things clearer for drivers.

As a general rule, drivers should leave at least a few seconds of traveling time between themselves and the vehicle ahead. That can help give drivers enough room to make emergency maneuvers or stop if the car in front slows or stops. Any closer, and the likelihood of a tailgating accident increases.

Why Tailgating Is a Top Cause of Car Accidents

Tailgating a car can directly lead to a costly crash because:

  • The tailgater won’t have enough time to react to events. When people tailgate a car, there’s no way they have enough time and space to respond to events on the road. Sudden stops, wild animal crossings, and other events can all pose unexpected hazards. When tailgaters don’t leave themselves reaction time, serious injury crashes can occur.
  • The tailgater may be speeding. Speeding is a common characteristic of tailgating drivers. Usually, it’s because they’re rushing toward their destination. And speed is one of the leading causes of deadly car accidents. According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, speeding was a factor in more than a quarter of traffic fatalities in a recent year.
  • The tailgater may misjudge the amount of time they need to stop given the road conditions. Some tailgaters may think they’re leaving plenty of room between their car and the vehicle ahead, but you need more time to stop in inclement weather or unpredictable traffic conditions.

How to Avoid a Tailgating Car Accident

The best way to avoid a tailgating accident in Tampa is by being patient and staying calm. That can be challenging when someone tailgates you, but remember that your health and safety come first. If you are able, move to another lane and let the tailgater pass. If that isn’t an option, pull over to let them get around you. Don’t tap your brakes or make any sudden maneuvers that could result in an accident.

Tailgaters are usually people who want to drive faster, and there’s no benefit to getting in their way. Stay safe and let the authorities handle their dangerous driving.

Timing Rules Used to Avoid Car Accidents Caused by Tailgating

The Official Florida Driver Handbook provides recommendations about safe following distances. The Department of Highway Safety and Motor Vehicles recommends using a stationary object to judge your following distance.

When the rear of the vehicle ahead of you passes an object (like a sign), start counting. If you can count to four without passing the object, your following distance is likely good, assuming the weather is favorable. If you can’t reach four, then you may be tailgating. When driving in inclement weather, you should increase your following distance.

Who Is At Fault in a Tailgating Car Accident?

In many cases, the person who was following too closely is at fault in tailgating accidents. That’s because, in many cases, their reckless driving may have led to the accident. But, in some situations, the driver who is hit may be at fault. For example, if the lead driver slammed on their brakes suddenly, had broken brake lights, or was driving while drunk or distracted, they could be liable for the crash.

Ultimately, determining who is at fault in any accident will depend on the unique facts of your case. If you have questions about your situation and whether you or the tailgating car is at fault, get in touch with a Tampa tailgating accident lawyer today. They can investigate what happened, explain your rights, and help you build a claim for the compensation you deserve.

Contact Our Tailgating Car Accident Lawyers in Tampa, FL

If you’ve been injured in a tailgating car accident in or near Tampa, Florida, contact Brooks Law Group as soon as you can. With years of experience and in-depth knowledge of traffic law, our legal team is ready to fight for you.

There’s no reason to wait for the legal help you need. Take action today by contacting us for a free case evaluation. We have several offices throughout Central Florida or can meet at a location convenient for you, including your home. We look forward to serving you.

Visit our Car Accident Lawyers in Tampa, FL