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Tailgating and Car Accidents in Florida

Tailgating—or following another driver too close—can be deadly. Often times, by driving right up against the other driver, there is no time and space to properly break and prevent an accident.

Under Florida law, a driver is not supposed to follow another vehicle more closely than is “reasonable and prudent,” depending upon the traffic and conditions of the road. So why do some people clearly chose to tailgate? Many do it out of frustration and rushing; others are perhaps trying to save gas mileage; some may even be distracted with their cell phones; resulting in millions of rear-end accidents each year.

The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration includes tailgating as an example of aggressive driving, or operating a vehicle “in a manner that endangers or is likely to endanger persons or property.” Thus, any accident that results from tailgating is considered the result of the tailgating driver’s negligence, and the victim can try to recover damages for any injuries that resulted from the accident.

Specific Regulations Regarding Motor Trucks

Outside of a business or residence district, the driver of any motor truck, motor truck drawing another vehicle or vehicle towing another trailer cannot follow within 300 feet of another motor truck, motor truck drawing another vehicle, or vehicle towing a trailer in Florida.

Avoiding a Tailgating Accident

Clearly, leaving enough space between you and the car in front of you is one of the best ways to avoid a tailgating accident, as well as following the speed limit. If someone is tailgating you, avoid frequently breaking in an effort to get them to back off, as this can aggravate already aggressive drivers. Remember also that large trucks taking longer to break and bad weather (especially the presence of black ice) can make things even worse for cars traveling too close together.

Contact a Clearwater Car Accident Attorney

No one gets behind the wheel of a vehicle in Clearwater expecting to get into a car crash. But in mere moments, a driver’s carelessness or inattentiveness can turn a routine commute from work or trip to the store into a terrible, life-altering event. Those involved in car accidents can suffer serious, life-threatening injuries requiring thousands of dollars of medical treatment. Not only this, but accident victims typically suffer mental pain and trauma that must be addressed before a victim can said to have been made whole. This is on top of the damage that occurs to the victim’s vehicle.

If you are involved in a car accident because someone was tailgating you, it is important to protect your legal rights. Evidence critical to showing who was at fault may be lost if action is not taken quickly, as photographs can disappear and memories can fade. Not only this, but statements made to the other driver or insurance company can limit the recovery you might otherwise receive. Contact Clearwater attorney Mike Walker to discuss your potential case today. He will fight for your rights and help you recover deserved compensation.

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