We’ve all seen them. We look in the mirror and we see a car cruising a mere 6 feet away from your bumper. Tailgaters. The aggressive drivers who want to go faster than you and want you to be out of their way. Truth be told: tailgating is one of the most dangerous habits that drivers have. Just think about the last time you were out on the road, I can almost bet that you were driving to close to the person in front of you. After years of driving, we tend to forget what we were taught in Driver’s Ed.
Tailgating is dangerous at any speed, from a 20 mph school zone to a 85 mpg highway. A sudden stop, or even just a slight deceleration could end up being a disaster. If you find yourself in an accident with you being the aggressor, you will stand to lose more than a few dollars. It will cost you money to repair your car, pay your fines and likely have a hard time finding a new insurance company.
We recommend keeping a 1.5 – 2 car distance between yourself and the car in front of you for every 10 mph you are traveling. For instance. If you are going 60 mph on the highway, then you want, at least 9 car lengths between you. Sure, there will be some hiccups along the way (merging traffic, drivers who cut you off, etc..), but that shouldn’t stop you from slowing down and letting the other drivers get far enough ahead of you so if they realize they are going too fast and hit the brakes, even for an instant, you won’t slam into their bumpers.
Here’s a fun fact for you! Not tailgating will actually help your car’s fuel mileage. If you aren’t flooring the accelerator and keeping up with the speed fluctuations the car in front of you has, your engine will maintain a steady pace and use fuel accordingly.
I realize that it may be hard to do with our congestion here in Dallas-Fort Worth, but rest assured, when you remember to keep your distance from the cars in front of you, you’ll have less of a chance of causing a minor (or major!) accident.