When someone begins tailgating you, you may have no idea why they’re doing it. Are they angry about something you did while you were driving, and this is the beginning of a road rage situation? Do they just want to pass and they’re trying to get you to speed up? Or are they just oblivious, and do they think that they are driving safely?
No matter why it’s happening, though, you know that it puts you at serious risk to have a tailgater behind you. If you have to stop suddenly, there’s a very good chance they are going to rear-end your car. So how should you deal with this challenge?
Let them pass
Perhaps the best advice is just to let the tailgater pass. This eliminates the risk to you, which should be your primary goal. You will need to find a safe way to achieve this end, such as changing lanes or pulling off to the side of the road. If you find an easy opportunity to let them go around you, it is probably best to do so.
Do not escalate the situation
Another thing to keep in mind is that you don’t want to escalate the situation by acting aggressively toward the tailgater. Don’t make hand gestures in their direction. Never “brake check” them by sharply pressing down on your brakes. These things are only going to increase your odds of being involved in an accident.
Begin slowing down
One tactic that can sometimes be successful is if you slowly begin reducing your speed. As noted above, you don’t want to hit the brakes quickly because then an accident may be your fault, but you can begin slowing down gradually. For instance, maybe you were driving 60 miles an hour in a 55-mph zone. You could let your car drift down to 50 mph. This isn’t a dangerous approach, and it helps to show the other driver that you want them to pass. If you’re on a two-lane road, it can also make passing easier because it won’t take that person as long to overtake you.
Unfortunately, tailgaters cause accidents every day. Those who have been injured need to know how to seek financial compensation as a result.