Fall and football combined mean one thing: tailgating. But what kind of tailgating will you be doing? If you’re not in a stadium parking lot with hot dogs and corn hole, you better not be tailgating at all. Choosing to tailgate while driving is a dangerous activity that can have severe consequences in the blink of an eye.
The Department of Transportation recommends one second of following distance for every 10 feet of vehicle length. Keep in mind that additional distance is needed in inclement weather, heavy traffic, and at night. The days have already begun to shorten, so be sure to adjust your following distance in the darker evening hours.
By maintaining a proper following distance, you allow yourself time to:
- Stop safely behind slow moving and/or stopped traffic
- Keep vehicles behind you from rear-ending you
- Make well-planned decisions
As a driver, you will be cut off in traffic—probably multiple times each day depending on where you drive. Patience is the key to safe driving. Anticipate when other drivers will merge into your lane and slow down to regain proper following distance. Remember, the more space between you and the car in front you, means more time to react. Consider the illustration below; slowing down to regain proper following distance, while potentially frustrating in the moment, will barely affect your commute. A car accident, on the other hand, could derail your entire day and cause injuries.
This fall, let's leave tailgating to stadium parking lots.