If you drive too closely behind a vehicle, you will have less time and stopping distance if the vehicle suddenly slows down or comes to a complete stop. Also known as tailgating, driving too closely behind another vehicle can lead to rear-end accidents. However, tailgating accidents can also involve aggressive driving. Many drivers threateningly or menacingly tailgate other vehicles with malicious intent. This is a serious form of dangerous driving.
If you were involved in an accident caused by or involved tailgating or aggressive following by another driver, our legal team is here to help. Contact Farmer & Morris Law, PLLC, today at (828) 286-3866 for legal guidance regarding your case. A Marion tailgating accident lawyer can help you understand North Carolina’s driving and safety laws and the personal injury and insurance rules that might apply to your case.
Tailgating Is a Dangerous Driving Behavior
Many factors affect how far your vehicle might travel when you need to stop. These factors include:
- Your speed
- Your reflexes
- Vehicle size and weight
- Road conditions
- Your brakes
According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), the faster you are traveling, and the heavier your vehicle is, the more ground and time you need to stop. Your reflexes and state of mind will affect your reaction time. Things like how alert you are, whether you are drowsy or fresh, and whether you were drinking and driving or driving sober might affect how mentally capable you are to drive. Anything that slows down your reaction time might make you susceptible to accidents because you might not be able to stop or react in time to avoid a collision. Slick or slippery surfaces and worn brakes can also lead to longer stopping distances.
With a tailgating driver, these risk factors increase the likelihood of an accident occurring. That being said, there is no universal measure of how close to another vehicle is too close. However, you should have enough time and space to come to a safe stop in case there are sudden changes in traffic patterns, such as vehicles suddenly slowing down and stopping.
It is important to note that if you are tailgating, you have very little room for error when it comes to quickly stopping your vehicle if needed. According to the NHTSA, if your vehicle travels at a speed of about 55 miles per hour, it can travel the length of an entire football field in under five seconds. That would be a distance of 300 feet, which means you travel about 60 feet per second.
Other Relevant Factors
As mentioned above, tailgating involves more than just following another vehicle too closely. Tailgating can also involve aggressive driving. Road-rage, bullying, and threatening driver behavior can also lead to an accident. Common forms of dangerous driving that might be paired with aggressive tailgating include:
- Driver inattention
- Unsafe lane changes
- Running stop signs
- Drinking and driving
- Weaving in and out of traffic
Fault, liability, and damages in tailgating accidents come down to the duty of care. North Carolina is an at-fault state, and accident victims have the right to seek compensation for the damages they suffered in accidents caused by driver or vehicle errors, negligence, recklessness, or carelessness. This includes any wanton disregard for the safety of others and driving in an intentionally threatening or malicious manner behind another vehicle.
If you can show that another driver was tailgating you, was driving unsafely, or was driving in a threatening or unsafe manner, and you suffered an accident, you might be eligible to sue that driver for damages. Contact Farmer & Morris Law, PLLC, at (828) 286-3866 to learn how.
A Marion tailgating accident lawyer can walk you through what you need to know about North Carolina accident and personal injury laws and the steps involved in filing a claim or lawsuit. At our law firm, we want to help you pursue the compensation you need to recover from your losses. Below is a detailed description of what our team might be able to do for your case.
For a legal consultation with a tailgating accidents lawyer serving Marion, call 828.286.3866
Tailgating Victims Might Be Eligible to File an Insurance Claim
According to the North Carolina Department of Transportation (NCDOT), motor vehicle operators in North Carolina are required by law to carry the following insurance coverage:
- Bodily injury coverage of $30,000 for one person
- Bodily injury coverage of $60,000 for two or more people
- Property damage coverage of $25,000 per accident
If you or the at-fault driver carry other forms of insurance, those policies might also help cover some of your losses if you lose more than the minimums listed above in your accident. Examples of other insurance policies include collision coverage, comprehensive liability coverage, or Personal Injury Protection (PIP).
To file an insurance claim, you must:
- Identify the at-fault party
- Obtain evidence of their liability
- Identify and quantify your damages
- Communicate with the liable insurance company regarding your claim
If you intend to sue, you must file your lawsuit within the statute of limitations. If you miss your filing window, you may lose your right to seek compensation for damages that you otherwise might have been entitled to collect.
Marion Tailgating Accident Lawyer Near Me 828.286.3866
Contact Farmer & Morris Law, PLLC, Today
For assistance with the steps outlined above, contact Farmer & Morris Law, PLLC, today at (828) 286-3866. A Marion tailgating accident lawyer can review your case and help you file a claim or lawsuit if you have grounds for seeking compensation. Do not hesitate to contact our team today for a free, confidential case evaluation.