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Avoiding a motor vehicle accident when you are being tailgated

We have all had it happen. You are driving down a road in West Virginia and you glance in your rear-view mirror. To your annoyance, you notice a vehicle behind you that looks like it’s much too close to your bumper. If you have to stop with little or no warning, there might be a collision between your vehicle and the one in back of you. Luckily, there are a few ways to handle a tailgater that will hopefully keep you safe and accident-free.

First, don’t let your fury or frustration take over. It’s hard to be unfazed when another driver seems to be mere inches away from your car. Nevertheless, getting mad just intensifies the situation. It can also affect your judgment and your driving. Focus on driving as normally as possible. Above all, don’t speed up excessively. 

What else can I do?

Brake carefully if necessary. Try not to come to an abrupt halt unless you really need to do so to avoid a pedestrian, someone on a bicycle or something else in your car’s path. With limited space between you and the tailgater, braking hard under these circumstances could lead to an accident.

If you can, switch lanes and let the tailgater go past you. If that is not an option, pull into a nearby parking lot and allow the tailgater to proceed. Maintain a safe speed and stay within the speed limit. It may be tempting to floor the gas pedal, but driving too fast is unwise. Exceeding the speed limit is against the law.

Don’t antagonize the other driver by making gestures, yelling or braking hard to force the person to stop following you so closely. Your goal should be to get out of this predicament safely.

An attorney who is experienced in handling motor vehicle accidents is a good source of advice if you are involved in a collision.

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