While no one knows exactly how many car accidents are caused by tailgating, according to a study by the The Texas Department of Insurance, 51 percent of drivers admit to tailgating on purpose, and more than 23 percent of all traffic accidents were rear-end collisions.
What is Tailgating in Driving?
Tailgating in driving, is when a driver follows another vehicle too closely. While we all get frustrated with drivers who do not keep up with the flow of traffic, following a vehicle closely is dangerous and is often associated with acts of road rage.
Is Tailgating Illegal in Texas?
Under Texas state Law, tailgating is illegal. Tailgating is considered an aggressive form of negligence and frequently leads to devastating rear-end accidents.
Motorists are required to leave a safe distance between themselves and the vehicles ahead. When a driver follows another vehicle too closely, they reduce their available distance to brake and come to a complete stop. When traveling at higher speeds, the braking distance increases exponentially as do the risk of causing a rear end collision.
Motorists are required to leave a safe distance between themselves and the vehicles ahead.
Additionally, because most tailgating accidents are a form of reckless driving, a motorist found at fault for tailgating may be subject to punitive damages in a car accident lawsuit.
Punitive damages are unique. As opposed to compensatory damages that are based on injuries and property loss, punitive damages are solely based on the extent of wrongdoing.
Fault in a Rear End Collision
The person following too close is typically the liable party in a rear end collision accident. Tailgating is considered an act of negligence and willful disregard.
However, sometimes drivers who are being followed too closely react with the same level of recklessness.
Brake Checking May Affect Liability in a Tailgating Accident
Brake checking is a term used to describe when a driver brakes to purposely catch the tailgating motorist off guard. Drivers sometimes tap their brakes as a warning to tailgaters. Others may slam on their brakes. Brake checking in any form is dangerous, leading to severe injuries.
There is no statute in Texas specifically prohibiting brake checking. Instead, law enforcement considers brake checking a type of reckless driving. Under the comparative negligence doctrine, you may be found to be equally responsible for the tailgating accident if you engaged in brake checking.
Contact Rear End Accident Lawyer Dax F. Garza Today for a Free Consultation
Dax Garza has years of experience helping injured motorists. If you or a loved one have been seriously hurt by an aggressive driver following too closely, our Houston car accident lawyers can hold the responsible parties accountable for your injuries. While every tailgating accident injury claim is different, you may qualify for various damages, including but not limited to:
- Complete coverage of medical expenses related to the accident
- Lost wages if you cannot work
- Loss of future earnings
- Loss of enjoyment of life damages
- Pain and suffering damages
- Emotional distress
- Possible punitive damages in cases of gross negligence
When motorists blatantly disregard the safety of others, you need skilled legal representation to help you recover the compensation you need and deserve. Schedule a free consultation today to discuss the unique circumstances of your case.