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What to do when you’re being tailgated

It can be scary to look into your review mirror and see a vehicle following you too closely — especially if it’s a big rig. Depending on the road conditions, this could lead to a devastating accident.

Next time you’re being tailgated, these tips may be able to help you handle this situation safely.

On the highway

Tailgating is almost always done to let you know that the driver wants to go ahead of you. If you are in the left-hand lane on the highway, you should be using it to pass another car. Otherwise, driving in the left-hand lane prevents other cars from moving ahead of traffic.

When safe to do so, signal your turn, check your blind spot, and merge into the slower lane to let the tailgater pass you. In some cases, you may be tailgated even when the cars ahead of you are preventing anyone from using the lane to pass. In this situation, it’s still safest to let the tailgater in front of you.

On a frontage road

You may need to occupy the left-hand (passing) lane if you will be taking a left-hand turn ahead. If this is the case, be mindful about how soon you’ll reach the turn.

If you are being tailgated on a single lane frontage road, pull off to the shoulder or turn into a side road to let the tailgater pass. This is safer than speeding or getting into a possible fender-bender accident with the tailgater.

Avoid antagonizing tailgaters

Antagonizing an aggressive driver can quickly lead to road rage. This can cause a driver to become violent and dangerous.

If you are being tailgated, do not slow down more, brake check, or look at the driver to teach them a lesson. You’re more likely to escalate the situation.

If a tailgater causes an accident

Collect the license plate number, pull off of the road and remain in your vehicle if a tailgater causes an accident. Call the police to the scene and do not exit your vehicle until they arrive. This will help keep you safe in case the driver continues to be aggressive.

Next, call an attorney for help. An experienced attorney can help you prove what happened to make sure the damages are covered by the aggressive driver.

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