You Don't Leave a Space When Stopped

I've talked about the dangers of tailgating and being tailgated, but what about the distance that you should leave between your car and the car in front of you when stopping at a red light or stop sign.

The rule is, when stopped, you should still be able to see the rear tires of the car in front of you. Why?

1. As the car in back of you usually stops within inches, if you were inches from the car in front, you would not be able to get out of line and escape in the event of an emergency in the car in front of you, e.g., such as if it's on fire.

2. Many times the lead car stops in the cross walk and/or beyond the white line. If a truck is trying to turn left from the street on the right, the car in front of you will have to back up. If you're pinned in, it will take a long time to get everyone to back up. Without thinking, he might just back up into you.

3. If you're up against the car in front of you and get rear-ended, the force of the collision will push your car into the one in front of you. This will cause your car to be damaged both in the rear and in front. The damage caused to the car in front of you by your car may be considered to be your fault. You may get a ticket, For Failure to Maintain a Reasonable Distance and a hike in your insurance premiums.

4. To save time. This will actually save you time in leaving the intersection. When the car in front of me starts to move, so do I, at nearly the same time. If I was within inches of the car in front of me, I'd have to wait until it gets a reasonable distance away before I could even start to move; therefore, I don't save any time by being closer.

 Rule: If you can't see the rear tires, you're too close.

You Allow Someone to Tailgate You

I've mentioned the fact many times that tailgating is very dangerous, so maybe a few of you have taken my advice to heart and no longer tailgate. Good for you.

But, do you let others tailgate you? It's just as dangerous to be tailgated than to tailgate. Both cars in a tailgating accident are part of the statistics of 2.7 million accidents, 750,000 hospitalizations, and 15,000+ killed every year in the United States. (Statistics refer to the United States only).
Does it matter to you if it's the other driver's fault if you or a member of your family is killed?

Don't let another driver tailgate you. If you can't see all of his front tires, he's tailgating you and placing you in grave danger.
What to do:

1. Put on your emergency flashers and take your foot off of the gas pedal and allow your car to slow down gradually.  Only reduce your speed a little to give him a clue.
DO NOT slam on your brakes as he'll most probably hit you and it'll be your fault for causing the accident. This works most of the time. OR

2. If possible, turn on your turn signal, slow down gradually and pull off to the side of the road and allow stupid to pass. OR

3. Engage your windshield washer and leave it on until the car backs off. This causes the fluid to run up the windshield, over the roof of your car and land on the windshield of the car in back of you. This works (almost) all the time.

Whether you're tailgating or being tailgated the danger to yourself is the same.