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Tailgaters unlikely to admit risky driving behavior

Most people who drive in the United States can tell you that tailgating is an annoying behavior, and many are even aware that it could be dangerous. Tailgating, especially at high speeds, can increase the chances of getting in to a car accident in a situation where a driver needs to make a sudden stop. Driving conditions are often not predictable, and distracted driving is a well recognized safety hazard, making tailgating even more risky.

Many tire companies are working hard to design tires that make driving safer, even in unpredictable conditions. New tire models make it easier to stop quickly and maintain control of your car in an unexpected situation. However, tailgating is still a big problem for many drivers.

In fact, about 74 percent of drivers have reported being tailgated within the past six months. The survey was funded by Michelin Tire Company to find out more about driving behavior. Surveyors talked to 1,000 people in the United States about their safe driving habits. Interestingly, only 11 percent of drivers said that they have tailgated another driver.

Another surprising finding is that about half of drivers don’t know the appropriate distance to keep from the car in front of them. This suggests that many people may be technically tailgating without realizing it.

Tailgating is a negligently dangerous behavior, although it may be difficult to determine if an accident was caused by tailgating or by some other factor. Drivers who cause car accidents through negligence are liable for the costs associated with the accident.

Source: USA Today, “Survey: Few drivers admit to being tailgaters,” Chris Woodyard, April 13, 2012.

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