Why Do Drivers Tailgate? (and How to Deal with it)

Most drivers tailgate because they want the next vehicle to move faster or get out of their way.

Tailgating is unsafe and can cause an accident. When tailgated by another driver, please move out of the highway or call road safety agents.

Now that you are interested in learning everything about tailgating and how best to deal with it, I will teach you.

Why Do Drivers Tailgate?

Drivers tailgate when they are in haste, angry, need to save fuel, or want to punish the next car ahead. Some other drivers can tailgate ignorantly when they are at high speed or don’t understand the meaning of some traffic signals.

Tailgating is common, especially on highways and in traffic. When the road is free, moist drivers hit the wheel and stay back to enjoy their ride.

I have seen several drivers who went at high speed because the road was clear, and the ride went smooth. The tires were busy screeching and scratching the tar with nice music on play mode.

A driver can tailgate when not paying attention to driving, such as while playing music or conversing with someone else. Drivers who tailgate while on call, in conversation, or drinking while driving can tailgate.

Tailgating unconsciously is likely to cause accidents, though most drivers don’t care. They want a good ride on a smooth road, and what happens next isn’t a business to worry about.

Angered people who handle the steering on the road are likely to crash into another vehicle or at least give some scratch. And most such bumping can lead to accidents.

Stubborn and habitual tailgating drivers who tailgate for fun should be avoided. They don’t see any danger in tailgating. So, it may then become a way to intimidate others and get them to “get off” your way.

Parking by the road or calling road traffic agents to report about a driver who is tailgating you closely is a recommended option. Because most drivers who tailgate do that out of anger, depression, work or family crisis, and ignorance of road safety rules.

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Is Tailgating Dangerous?

Tailgating is very dangerous and deadly and can cost anyone a precious life. Most tailgating incidences have led to accidents, car summersault, brake failures, engine knock, scratching of vehicles’ bodies, and primarily, to death.

In various countries with straight and plain road networks, 1 out of 3 road accidents are caused by tailgating. Also, 5 in 8 accidents from tailgating always lead to death.

Tailgating is dangerous, bad, and unadvisable.

Come to think of it. When on the road following another car in front speedily, who moved slowly compared to your acceleration. If the next car suddenly applies the brake, your vehicle will hit the rear bumper, summersault, or kick the car into a ditch.

Here, there are just two things involved; either both cars will be badly disfigured, or someone will visit become hospitalized. Sounds funny right? But that’s what happens most times, drivers tailgate so closely.

Tailgating can do more harm than good, especially when the drivers aren’t paying attention to road and car traffic signs and indicators.

Tailgating another auto is too dangerous because the tailgater won’t have enough time to apply the brakes when something has gone awry. Keeping enough distance between vehicles is an excellent way to avoid the dangers of tailgating.

Tailgating is more dangerous when in bad weather, especially if the road is wet. In such conditions, when there is snow or rainfall, the break can easily fail, and the tires skid once the road gets slippery.

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Tailgating is terrible, especially when riding in oversized, heavy, and long vehicles needing more time to halt when compared to smaller vehicles.

Generally, tailgate drivers endanger their lives and make the road unsafe for other drivers and pedestrians. So, tailgating is dangerous and deadly. Avoid it!

What Group of Drivers Tend to Tailgate?

The tailgate drivers are often ignorant, too-distracted-to-care, complacent, and aggressive tailgaters. They either allow their emotion to overtake them or are unaware of traffic signs and symbols.

The aggressive drivers are the worst of tailgaters because they are seemingly intentional—most aggressive drivers tailgate to punish or even intimidate other drivers.

Though aggressive tailgaters may be silly most times, they don’t usually cause accidents because they know when to apply the brake and cool down. They tailgate just because they are crazy or have it as a habit.

Complacent tailgaters are drivers who don’t care. They are the “I-don’t-care” type of tailgaters, either because they lack basic driving knowledge or are just too confident in their driving skills.

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Complacent drivers who tailgate are either intentionally or ignorantly flaunting the traffic rules because they have never had a tailgating accident.

An ignorant tailgater is a driver who is fully aware of the dangers of tailgating yet goes ahead to tailgate. Most ignorant tailgaters may not have received orientations about tailgating. Hence, they don’t know what it’s.

Usually, when ignorant tailgaters are shunned or warned, they don’t see their faults. Instead, they defend their tailgating offense.

The too-distracted-to-care tailgaters are primarily the cause of most traffic accidents. While driving, they don’t care looking the mirror, watch their back and see what the traffic signs and indicators say.

Drivers who call, drink or smoke while driving is too-distracted-to-care tailgaters. Those drivers cause many accidents, so road safety agencies always discourage ‘drinking and driving.

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Tailgating is not legal. Tailgating is illegal. Divers who tailgate will always be punished by fines and imprisonment when caught.

Tailgating means driving too close to another vehicle right from behind. Of course, every sensible driver out there should know that tailgating is illegal, wrong, unjust, and inhuman.

Most drivers grouped into the aggressive tailgaters don’t usually get caught because they know how to save their heads. They know what they are doing and can always get out of any trouble.

Drivers who tailgate can receive a driving ban or prison times. There is no good reason and excuse to tailgate, and you can always avoid tailgating by focusing while driving.

No alcohol, no smoking, no calls, and deep conversations with the person sitting right beside you because those things are sources of distractions that can make a drive to tailgate.

What Happens to Drivers who Tailgate?

Drivers that tailgate is likely to have an accident and die. This is because most tailgating occurs at high speed. Vehicles that hit each other at high speed would create high impact force on both cars and endanger the drivers.

When drivers tailgate, here is what happens to them.

  1. Drivers who tailgate mostly have spinal cord injuries.

The collision between vehicles resulting from tailgating drivers can injure the spinal cord causing vertebrae fracture. A severe fracture in the vertebra can lead to paralysis.

  1. Whiplash

Whiplash as a tailgating injury occurs when the impact force of a disastrous car collision is transferred to the driver. This may overstretch and stress vital tissues leading to headache, neck pain, shoulder pain, and dizziness.

  1. Traumatic brain injuries

Hematoma can occur in the body when a high-impact collision affects the skull, further leading to bleeding in the brain. Such accidents can build up pressure in the head, causing brain malfunctioning and increasing the victims’ breathing rate.

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How to Deal with Drivers who Tailgate?

To deal with tailgate drivers, stay calm, sustain the speed limit, and obey traffic rules. But when the tailgater is not giving up, you can move off the road to allow the tailgating driver to pass.

Most times, the tailgater may not be the problem. It could be you who wasn’t driving fast or keeping to the lane. But to stay safe, it’s always good to avoid troubles by allowing tailgater to have their way.

One-way stubborn drivers can deal with tailgaters is to teach them a lesson by slowing down and making it harder to overtake. This isn’t a great idea as it could lead to a ghastly accident.


Tailgating involves driving closely to another vehicle from behind. It’s illegal, dangerous, and improper road behavior.

While some drivers tailgate out of ignorance, complacency, distraction, others tailgate intentionally. Perhaps to intimidate and humiliate the next vehicle. While some drivers know the implications of tailgating, some don’t because they never thought it exists.

Many people die every year from accidents resulting from tailgating, while others would suffer spinal cord injuries, whiplash, or even traumatic brain damages for the rest of their lives.

Trying to punish tailgaters by blocking an overtake or braking suddenly to collide with the car behind, it’s best to allow the tailgating driver to pass, speed up, or just clear your vehicle by the road.

The best is to drop a call to the nearest road safety office.