Williams, Walsh & O'Connor, LLC

How often are crashes caused by tailgating?

Almost everyone has been tailgated before. Other drivers usually do this because someone is not moving fast enough for their liking or because they're in a hurry to get somewhere. It's never safe to have someone drive so close to the back end of your car that it leaves you little to no room to stop. Countless individuals get injured in tailgating crashes each year.

According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), at least 23 percent of all motor vehicle accidents are rear-impact ones. These types of crashes injure 950,000 people each year. They kill 2,000.

Data published by FleetAnswers shows that it takes a driver who is traveling at a speed of 60 miles per hour no less than 240 feet to come to a complete stop. Wet roadways may cause motorists to be unable to stop even that quickly. Large or heavy vehicles may not break as fast as smaller and lighter ones.

Other data compiled by the tire company Michelin shows that nearly 75% percent of motorists have reported having been tailgated during the previous six months. Only 11% of drivers have admitted to doing it themselves though.

Motorists can greatly reduce their risk of crashing into the rear of another vehicle by keeping a distance of 10 feet for every 10 miles per hour of speed that they travel. Motorists should allow themselves extra space and time to brake when traveling at a high rate of speed. It's also important that you slow down and pass a vehicle that's traveling too slow instead of tailgating them.

All slower traffic should keep to the right lane so that faster moving vehicles can pass them. Motorists should aim to keep a safe distance between their cars and others -- no matter whether traffic is heavy or light. This can help them avoid a multi-car crash.

Those who are involved in slow-moving rear-end crashes in Connecticut often suffer soft tissue injuries such as whiplash, concussions, cuts and bruises. Those who are involved in multi-car or high-speed crashes may find themselves crushed in their vehicles. This may result in spinal cord damage, head injuries and other serious wounds.

A motor vehicle accidents attorney can advise you of your right to sue your New Haven tailgater for medical costs and other losses in your case.

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