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New Jersey

Personal Injury Attorneys

What to do when a driver tailgates you

On Behalf of | Dec 30, 2023 | Motor Vehicle Accidents |

Tailgaters on the road can be dangerous, and they put other drivers at risk. Fortunately, how you respond can improve your safety. 

So, how can you deal with a tailgater safely?

Stay calm

Remaining calm is not always the first emotion one has when someone tailgates them. You can be angry, as another driver is deliberately endangering you. But anger can lead to other risky behaviors, such as slamming brakes, speeding up, driving slowly and so on. Doing these will distract you, and the tailgater’s behaviors may worsen.

Stay focused on the road 

It can be tempting to check your rear-view mirror constantly when someone tailgates you. Are they still tailgating you? Are they engaging in other risky behaviors?

But taking your eyes off the road is equally dangerous; you should stay focused on the road.

Let them pass

If you are on a multi-lane road, move to the right when it’s safe and let the tailgater pass. If you are on a single-lane road, pull over at a well-lit gas station or parking lot to give way.

Avoid eye contact

When the tailgater passes you, do not make eye contact or gesture. This can worsen matters. Keep your eyes on the road and let them pass. 

Note that some tailgaters, especially those driving while drunk, may try to communicate with you when overtaking; do not engage.

Be extra careful

It’s crucial to be careful at all times when driving. But you need to be extra cautious when driving around a tailgater. An aggressive driver may engage in other risky behaviors besides tailgating. Thus, be on the lookout for such behaviors while focusing on your driving.

If a tailgater hits you, seek legal guidance to claim the compensation you deserve.