Tailgating is a vice that many drivers now and then engage in while on the road. Some want to have fun following another vehicle closely, while others are distracted or angered by being cut off. In either case, tailgating while on the road is a danger to you and your passengers as well as people in the vehicle in front of you.
What is Tailgating?
While on the road, tailgating means following a vehicle at too close a range. In the event of needing to break immediately, you reduce the amount of time to safely so and avoid an accident. Therefore, increasing your possibility of rear-ending the other vehicle. It is a serious problem that many Floridian drivers find themselves in.
Why is it Dangerous to Tailgate Another Vehicle?
One of Florida’s major traffic rules is the ‘Three Second Rule‘ or popularly known as the four-second rule in other states. The rule states that motorists on the road should remain at least three or four seconds driving distance from the vehicle in front of them. The guideline is a safety measure against rear-end accidents.
If you translate the meaning in driving speed, a vehicle traveling at 60 miles an hour should remain at least 240 feet away from the vehicle in front to remain within this three-second rule. It means that the drivers need time to slow down and stop without hitting the rear of the vehicle in front of them if they suddenly slow down or stop without warning.
Following the rule, especially during the rainy season which south Florida experiences much of during hurricane season, can save individuals from injuries and needing to file claims. The roads are too slippery, and not maintaining the distance while driving can be detrimental to both the car and your life. Many advise adding more distance to be safe.
If driving a large vehicle, it is impossible to stop on time, especially if carrying a heavy load or if roads are slippery due to rain. Paying attention and keeping your eyes on the road and vehicle in front isn’t enough to mitigate an accident.
If angry, distracted, or enjoy tailgating, you may want to stop and evaluate your options. If you cause an accident you may be liable for injuries as well as paying damages caused to any victims.
Legal Reference to Tailgating
Tailgating in Florida is classified as a moving violation. The Florida Statutes 316.0895 clearly explains that a driver following behind another vehicle at a distance that is ‘closer than is reasonable or prudent’ is a violation. The violation is, of course, considering the conditions of the highway, the speed you are driving at, and the level of traffic being experienced at the time of the violation.
Any driver who hits another vehicle due to tailgating is at fault. However, there are several exemptions to the case. The other driver can also bear some of the liability in the case if they cut your passage off on the highway without warning. If you stop without indicating for no reason at all, you are also liable for the accident.
Therefore, if the courts find that you need to be paid damages, the amount is cut down depending on your participation in the incident.
Tailgating can cost you a lot in the form of damages or compensation in case of an accident. Since it is difficult to defend in a court without proper evidence, seeking a free injury claim evaluation from the DRG Law Firm is highly advisable. Contact us today so we can learn more about your case and provide you with details on how to best help.