How to Handle Tailgaters on the Road

One of my pet hates on the roads and significantly the most common is tailgating. Tailgating for the uninitiated is following too close to the vehicle in front. It’s among the most risky on-road habits, for both the tailgatee, the tailgater. Often in my experience the tailgater is blissfully unaware of the seriousness of his or her actions and the extreme danger they are putting themselves and other people around them in. The overconfidence in their ability and their vehicle is sometimes dumbfounding.

If you are being tailgated, even when you are the victim, the smartest thing to do is to move away from the situation, to defuse it with the lowest possible danger to yourself and other road users.

Keep calm

Not keeping control your own behavior, and can cause losing control over your vehicle. Ensure you are aware of every vehicle around you and if you’re in one of the right hand lanes then move back to the left to allow the tailgater to pass. Don’t try and be smart and teach them a lesson by stamping on your brake.

If you are already in the left lane the only alternative is to reduce your speed and increase the distance from the vehicle in front of you. This will give you much more time to slow down if needed and to give the tailgater time to slow down behind you.

Driving regulations

Tailgating is now against the law  punishable by points on your licence.

Pull over and don’t speed up

In case you are moving on winding roads, let a tailgater pass when it is safe to do so or when there is a passing place or overtaking lanes. Drivers who speed up when the road straightens or during an overtaking lane are going to infuriate following drivers, this may case them to take unnecessary risks by trying to pass you when it may not be safe.

Consider your own driving

If there isn’t a lane you can easily move to and allow the following motorist to pass, there won’t be much you should do about it. But, if you are maintaining speed or speeding up with the car beside you, maybe you should think about slowing down and move to the left. The first target is to take away yourself from a possibly dangerous situation, not to make a point to a tailgating driver.

Drive at a safe speed

Don’t let a tailgating motorist force you into moving faster than you feel safe. The faster you go the faster he will go and stay on your tail. The safest thing you can do is ease off your speed slowly and increase the speed from the vehicle in front.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.