About 20 percent of traffic accidents in the United States happen because of tailgaters. An experienced rear-end accident lawyer knows that tailgating is the fifth leading crash cause in the U.S., because a driver following too closely behind a lead vehicle does not have enough time to react when the car in front of his does something unexpected.
When the lead car slows or comes to a stop, a tailgating driver is not going to be able to stop before striking the back of the lead car. The tailgating driver can become responsible for property damages and injuries that result when a rear-end accident happens.
How to Prevent Georgia Rear-End Accidents
Drivers can reduce or eliminate the risk of tailgating accidents by simply leaving a safe following distance in between their vehicle and the car that is located directly in the front of theirs.
Driver's Prep recommends motorists measure the following distance between their car and the lead vehicle by counting the number of seconds that pass between the time the car in front of theirs passes a stationary object and the time their own vehicle passes the same object.
For example, look to the vehicle in front of you as it goes past a road sign or another non-moving fixed object on the side of the road. Once that car passes the stationary object, start counting. See how many seconds it takes for your own car to pass the same object. There should be around a three- to four-second gap between the time the lead car passes the object and the time your car does. The rule of thumb used to be allow two seconds, but safety experts recommend leaving a little extra space to ensure that you have enough time to stop.
The old rule of thumb used to measure a safe driving distance was to consider car lengths. A driver was supposed to leave one car length between his vehicle and the car in front for every 10 miles per hour of speed. So, a car going 20 MPH would leave two car lengths and a car going 50 MPH would leave five car lengths. A longer distance was needed to account for the fact that cars going at higher speeds have more momentum and can take significantly longer to stop.
Because it can be confusing to count car lengths and adjust for different speeds, the new rule of considering the number of seconds is preferred since the amount of seconds to leave is virtually always the same. However, when the weather is poor and visibility is reduced or the road conditions are bad and there is a risk of your vehicle sliding on wet slippery pavement, you should extend your following distance in order to reduce the chance of an accident.
A driver who does not leave enough space could endanger himself and others. You could be held legally responsible for the consequences if you fail to leave a safe following distance so always be sure to avoid tailgating.
Accident lawyers in Georgia can help if you have been injured in an accident. Contact the Mike Slocumb Law Firm at 1-800-HURTLINE or visit www.slocumblaw.com.