The Dangers of Speeding and Tailgating

The Dangers of Speeding and TailgatingSpeeding and tailgating are two of the most dangerous things a driver can do on the roads of Chicago. All too often, you look in the rearview mirror and find a vehicle following you too closely. On the flip side of things, you might catch yourself tailgating another vehicle or speeding. These driving habits are difficult to break and ones that can cause serious Chicago car accidents that lead to death.

How long does it take to stop a car?

According to Edmunds, it takes a vehicle traveling at 60 MPH an average of 4.5 seconds and 271 feet to come to a complete stop. A vehicle traveling at that speed covers 88 feet-per-second. There are multiple aspects that go into stopping a vehicle and they include perception time and reaction time.

Perception time is defined as three-quarters of a second when you realize it’s time to stop your vehicle. Reaction time is defined as three-quarters of a second when you transfer your foot from the gas pedal to the brake pedal. When these two times are combined, your vehicle will have traveled 132 feet.

Tailgating reduces stopping time

As noted above, it takes 4.5 seconds and 271 feet to stop a vehicle traveling at 60 MPH. this means that the less room you leave between vehicles, the less room there is to stop safely. Tailgating reduces the amount of time you have to stop your vehicle without causing a Chicago car accident. Vehicles need distance to come to a complete, safe stop. As a driver, there needs to be enough distance between your vehicle and the one in front of it for safe stopping. As a point of measure, consider the following:

  • Keep two seconds of time between your vehicle and the one in front of you in normal road conditions
  • Keep four seconds of time between vehicles when it is raining
  • Keep 10 seconds of time between vehicles when it is snowing, icy, or there are other hazards on the roads

What hinders your ability to stop your car?

As mentioned above, rain, ice, and snow play major roles in the ability to stop a vehicle. There are other things that make it difficult to come to a stop, including:

  • Road hazards
  • Potholes
  • Poor brakes
  • Worn tires
  • Low tire pressure
  • Sudden changes in speed limits

Tailgating is such a serious habit that the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) reports 23 percent of all motor vehicle accidents are rear-end collisions. These accidents lead to 2,000 deaths and 950,000 injuries every year across the country.

How to avoid being tailgated

You can take matters into your own hand to prevent causing an accident by not tailgating other drivers. However, you can only do so much when other drivers are tailgating you. There are a couple of maneuvers you can use to avoid being tailgated:

  • If possible, move to a different lane and let the tailgater pass you
  • If you cannot change lanes, maintain the posted speed limit and keep enough space between your vehicle and the vehicle in front of you
  • Stay out of the left lane unless you are passing another vehicle
  • Continue to monitor all of your mirrors for what is happening behind and next to your vehicle

Were you or a loved one injured in a Chicago car accident caused by speeding or tailgating? It’s important that you protect your rights immediately. At Gainsberg Injury and Accident Lawyers, we fight for those injured in all types of accidents, so you obtain the compensation you deserve. Call our office at 312-600-9585, or complete a contact form to schedule a consultation. We serve clients in Chicago and throughout Illinois.