Tailgating is a an incredibly dangerous habit. Following the vehicle in front of you too closely reduces the amount of time and space you have to react. Tailgating is a common cause of rear-end wrecks that can leave everyone involved with painful, debilitating injuries of the head, neck, and spine – not to mention thousands of dollars in vehicle damage.
Here is what every driver should know about tailgating and accidents.
Virginia Tailgating Traffic Code
In Virginia, following too closely is illegal and can earn the offender monetary fines, tickets, and even jail time. The law specifically refers to a reasonable following distance. That reasonable following distances varies depending on how fast both vehicles are traveling and how traffic is moving.
For example, in rush hour traffic, cars that are crawling along do not require as much following distance as those that are moving at higher speeds. Another scenario to consider is inclement weather. It takes longer to stop a car on wet or icy roads. Drivers must account for these limitations by increasing their following distance.
Yet, even with Virginia’s traffic law making tailgating illegal, possible penalties do not seem to be enough to deter aggressive drivers. The Virginia Highway Traffic Safety Office reported that tailgating was to blame for nearly 13 percent of all motor vehicle wrecks throughout the state of Virginia in a single year – more than 28,000 wrecks in total.
Liability for Tailgating Wrecks
While it seems obvious that the driver following too closely behind would automatically be liable for a rear-end wreck, that is not always the case. What about a leading driver who suddenly swerves in front of the car behind them and slams on the brakes? Even if the tailing driver is obeying all traffic laws and traveling at a safe speed, they still may not have enough time to react, possibly colliding with the car ahead.
Because there are so many variables to consider in wrecks where tailgating may or may not play a part, auto accident negligence claims must satisfy four main elements to prove liability. A car accident victim bringing a claim against a reckless driver must prove:
- The other driver had a duty to drive safely
- They breached that duty by tailgating
- That breach of duty caused a wreck
- That wreck directly injured another person
Our Virginia Beach Car Accident Lawyers Help Injured Drivers Involved in Tailgating Accidents
It takes time and determination to successfully prove liability for a tailgating wreck. That is why is it important to work with a Virginia Beach car accident lawyer willing to give your case the attention it deserves. Tailgating is an aggressive, dangerous driving behavior and drivers who break the law by doing it should be held responsible for the pain and suffering they cause. To discuss your rear-end car accident with the East Coast Trial Lawyers, call us at 757-352-2237 or contact us online. Located in Virginia Beach, Virginia, we assist clients throughout Chesapeake, Eastern Shores, Hampton, Newport News, Portsmouth, and Suffolk, as well North Carolina and nationwide.