Last Update: 01/13/16
In South Florida, with all of the traffic on our roadways we have a fair amount of traffic accidents and car crashes that occur on a daily basis. Unfortunately, a lot of these car accidents are the result of some type of rear-end collision — and most rear-end accidents involve some kind of tailgating as a contributing factor to the accident.
What is Tailgating?
First off, tailgating is against the law. Tailgating involves a driver keeping his vehicle too close to the bumper of the vehicle moving ahead of him or her in traffic. Driving like this is dangerous because it does not allow the rear car sufficient time to slow and stop if the car in front should suddenly stop moving.
Florida Statute 316.0895(1) provides:
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….
In fact, drivers can be ticketed for tailgating if a police officer sees someone they believe to be driving too closely to the car in front of them.
4 Common Reasons for Rear End Car Accidents
As a personal injury lawyer with years of experience representing people who have been involved in car accidents, I have found that most rear-end automobile accidents are caused by the following reasons:
1. The driver in the rear car is distracted by something like road noise; talking or texting on their phone; eating in the car; putting on makeup or grooming themselves in the car, etc.;
2. The driver in the front car encounters a danger in the road from a pedestrian or animal suddenly in their way (this is a particular danger in roadways near wildlife areas (I-75, US 27 and Alligator Alley) in the early morning hours or at dusk);
3. There is a sudden right hand turn by a vehicle into the right of way which prevents corrective action by other drivers; and
4. The driver in the front car suddenly slows down to avoid being filmed by a Red Light Camera.
Do Red Light Cameras Pose a Risk For Rear-End Collisions?
Red light cameras have been installed throughout the nation as a means of preventing traffic accidents by having technology in place to catch drivers who run red lights or vehicles that are speeding. However, a recent Broward County court case has successfully challenged the legality of Florida red light cameras and some local jurisdictions have turned off their red light cameras (for now).
Tips to Avoid Rear End Car Accidents
Here are some tips that drivers can use to try and avoid rear end accidents and crashes:
- Monitor your rear view mirrors and try and keep away from a tailgater.
- Signal in advance of your turns or lane changes — give as much warning time as you can.
- Don’t stop suddenly or slam on your brakes, slow down and tap your brake lights to give the rear driver warning that you’re changing speed.
- Keep a safe braking distance based upon speed of traffic and number of cars and lanes on the road.
What Should You Do Now?
A good piece of advice if you have been harmed in a car accident, is to speak with an experienced personal injury lawyer before you file a claim to learn about some of the issues that can arise with these claims, including the type of evidence needed to prove a claim and the type and amount of damages you can recover. Most personal injury lawyers, like Alan Sackrin, will offer a free initial consultation (over the phone or in person) to answer your questions.
Do you have questions or comments? Then please feel free to send Alan an email or call him now at (954) 458-8655.
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