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Does tailgating make a driver at fault for a wreck?

On Behalf of | Dec 3, 2023 | Car Accidents

Many drivers have bad traffic habits that put them and others at increased crash risk. For example, countless people habitually exceed the posted speed limit. Others text while driving, refuse to use their turn signals or even drive after drinking. Oftentimes, those choices are a violation of state traffic statutes. They can lead to tickets if someone gets caught by police officers. If a crash occurs, bad traffic choices leading up to the collision might result in police officers declaring one party at fault for the wreck.

Tailgating can be one of the most stressful experiences in a heavy traffic situation. Someone trying to drive safely will often become very anxious when they recognize that another driver is too close to the rear end of their vehicle. Is a driver who tailgates in traffic responsible if a crash occurs?

Connecticut prohibits tailgating

There are traffic laws forbidding an assortment of different behaviors on Connecticut roads. Drivers generally need to comply with all traffic laws to avoid responsibility for a crash. The law in Connecticut specifically requires that drivers maintain a safe and reasonable distance between their front bumper and the rear bumper of any other vehicle that they follow in traffic.

Most safety experts recommend leaving at least a three-second following distance. That means that regardless of speed, it takes three seconds to pass a marker after the vehicle in front of it passes it. In times of inclement weather, it is typically necessary to double the following distance between vehicles because it is more difficult to come to a complete stop.

Someone who tailgates violates Connecticut state law and safety best practices. They are therefore likely to receive a ticket for their poor choices and could also be declared at fault for a crack. Gathering evidence of tailgating, including witness statements, can help people demand accountability after a crash caused by someone’s unsafe driving habit. A driver who tailgates someone else and causes a wreck may need to provide insurance coverage for the crash that occurs or could be at risk of a personal injury lawsuit brought by the other party involved in the wreck.