According to the Washington Post, there are nearly 1.7 million rear-end collisions each year, which makes them the most common type of car accidents. Chances are you have been the victim of a tailgater and the other driver's recklessness probably made you feel unsafe. Here are some simple tips to help you avoid falling victim to a rear-end collision, and what to do if you are unfortunately struck by a tailgater:
How to Avoid Being Struck by a Tailgater
No matter how conscientious you are behind the wheel, there will always be someone who is making it hard for you to stay safe. Luckily, there are several things you can do to avoid being struck by someone who is tailgating you. Here are a few:
- Never Antagonize the Tailgater – Avoid slamming on your brakes, pumping the brakes or antagonizing the driver in any way. This could anger the other driver and lead to a serious accident.
- Get Out of Their Way – The best solution to avoid a rear-end collision is to simply get away from the tailgater. Slowly move to the other lane or turn off the road altogether. If you pull off the road to a side street, wait a few minutes and let some distance get between you and the tailgater.
- Take an Alternate Route Next Time – If you always take the same way home and there seems to be a problem with tailgaters, consider taking an alternate route the next time. Not only will you remain safe, you will also free yourself from potential litigation, in the event you are in an accident.
- Contact the Authorities – Finally, if you are constantly having trouble with a serial tailgater, don't hesitate to contact the authorities. Write down the tailgater's license plate and the make and model of the vehicle. This information will prove valuable if you are called upon to testify, or if you are in an accident yourself.
What to Do If You Are in a Rear-End Collision
If you are unable to get away from the tailgater and the other driver rear ends you, it is important to know what actions to take next. First and foremost, it is important to get yourself and your passengers to safety. Once you are on the side of the road, make sure that no one is injured. Whether or not anyone is injured, it is still vital to contact the authorities right away.
Speak with the other driver about the accident, but be careful what information you divulge. The only thing you should tell the other driver is your name and the name of your insurance provider. Get the other driver's name and insurance provider, as well. Whatever you do, never admit fault.
Take photos of the damage to your vehicle and any injuries sustained by you and the other passengers. This information will be very valuable and your attorney can use it to prove fault and even get you a larger settlement.
Contacting an Attorney
After you receive any necessary medical intervention and talk with the police, it is vital to contact an attorney immediately. Luckily, in most rear-end collisions, the driver in the rear is typically found responsible for the crash. This is because it is their responsibility to remain vigilant and provide enough of a gap between themselves and the driver in front. However, even if the accident is clear cut and you are clearly not at fault, it is still important to contact an attorney.
Dealing with a tailgater can be stressful and it is important to react correctly. Avoid antagonizing the other driver, and, if possible, get away from them altogether. If you are ever rear ended by a tailgater, it is important to know what to do next, which includes contacting an auto accident attorney immediately.