Dangers of Tailgating and Penalties for Such Accidents in New York

Dangers of Tailgating and Penalties for Such Accidents in New York
Dangers of Tailgating and Penalties for Such Accidents in New York

Tailgating another vehicle is a dangerous act because of the short time to slow down, which often leads to abrupt braking and hitting another vehicle.

This is why you should keep at least a few seconds of distance between yourself and the vehicle in front of you.

Ending up in a crash because of tailgating may lead to harsh injuries and complex legal process. Ending up in such a crash would require a skilled and experienced New York car accident attorney. 

Following Too Closely

When you travel at 60 mph, you need at least 240 feet to completely stop your vehicle. You need some time and space to stop when you are going at this speed. If the driver of the vehicle in front of you suddenly starts slowing down and you’re only a few seconds behind them, you might not be able to stop your car. This would inevitably lead to a rear-end collision.

Tailgating is a dangerous thing to do in any kind of weather, and the risk is even higher when the road is wet because of snow or rain. In these conditions, you should have even more space between your car and the one in front of you.

Many drivers think that they’d be able to avoid a crash simply because they keep an eye on the vehicle in front of them.

Tailgating is especially risky for big vehicles which often require more time and space to stop. A truck requires far longer to stop compared to a car, for example.

Tailgating is particularly dangerous in oversized vehicles, which often need more time and space to stop compared to smaller vehicles.

If there’s a truck on the road, avoid tailgating it. This is especially important on highways where all vehicles drive at a higher speed.

Your car may slide under the back of the trailer; the bottom of the trailer may be higher than the hood of your car, which can be dangerous (it could penetrate through the windshields). Such accidents are especially risky (and often with fatal outcomes).

Why Do Drivers Tailgate?

Tailgating is a form of aggressive driving and occurs because drivers want to get to their destination faster. It can be a form of distracted driving as well. For instance, if a driver checks their phone in a traffic jam, by the time they look up, the car in the front is already closing and there isn’t enough time to stop.

Some drivers simply have the habit of tailgating. They believe it’s all right to do this since they react fast and have their eye on the road.

Tailgating often happens on roads where vehicles drive at a higher speed.

If you’re driving at night and want to tailgate, make sure you flash your headlights to signal the other driver to get out of the way or change lanes.

Who Is At Fault for a Tailgating Accident in New York?

In New York, tailgating is a violation of Vehicle and Traffic Law §1129(a). All drivers are required to keep an adequate amount of space between there and the vehicle in front of them.

New York VTL § 1129(a) states that “the driver of a motor vehicle shall not follow another vehicle more closely than is reasonable and prudent, having due regard for the speed of such vehicles and the traffic upon and the condition of the highway.”

The amount of space required between vehicles must be long enough that another vehicle could safely take the space. The New York DMV’s Driver’s Manual recommends that drivers allow a space of two seconds between them.

If you cause a tailgating accident in New York, the penalties you’ll face the following fines:

  • First offense – a fine of up to $150
  • Second offense – a fine of up to $300
  • Third offense – a fine of up to $450
  • 4 points on driving record
  • Increased insurance rate

Tailgating is a serious traffic offense in the state of New York. This conviction would add points to your driving record and if you collect 11 points (or more) within 18 months, you could face a suspension of your driving license.

Sustaining severe injuries in such an accident will affect your budget. Following the accident, make sure you seek medical help. Once you feel better, consult with a car accident attorney on how to file for a compensation claim. Ask Cellino Law anything you want to know about this subject.


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