Preventing Road Traffic Collisions
At least 1,500 people a year could avoid getting injured or killed on the road, government and university researchers say, if road rage could be eliminated.
How To Stop It
One way to do that, according to study.com, is to reduce tailgating, especially by young drivers. The Hartford Courant found the most common “contributing factor” noted by police in crashes caused by new drivers was following another vehicle too closely.
Most crashes where tailgating was the primary causal factor happened between 2 and 3 p.m., about the time high school classes are done for the day. In other words, the typical crash caused by a 16- or 17-year-old driver doesn’t involve a car careening off the road during a boozy, late-night joyride.
Tailgating is so high on the list of accident causes because stopping involves more than just applying the brakes. It also includes perception time (realization that you need to stop) and reaction time (moving your foot to the brake pedal). At 60 mph, by the time the vehicle begins to slow down, it will have traveled more than 130′.
Most drivers know they should maintain a minimum of three seconds between a car and the vehicle in front. However, depending on factors such as vehicle condition, size and type, speed, time of day, road and weather conditions, and visibility, the time it takes to fully stop can vary dramatically. For example, a wet road can quadruple the time required to fully stop, and increasing speed from 35 mph to 55 mph nearly doubles the required stopping distance.
What You Can Do
If you find that another vehicle is tailgating you, remain calm and don’t let ego get in the way of safety. Do not slam on your brakes, honk your horn or use angry gestures. Instead, if there is an alternate lane, safely move over so the other car can pass. If you can’t move over, slowly increase the distance between your car and the one in front of you. That way, if the tailgater hits you, you’re less likely to hit another car.