​Following too closely behin​d another motorist, or tailgating, is an aggressive driving behavior. You can be ticketed for tailgating. W​orse, you can cause a crash, hurt yourself and wreck your car.

Tailgating is a common cause of traffic crashes.

Nobody likes a tailgater

  • Tailgating doesn't make the person in front of you drive faster. You may just irritate them.
  • If you must pass the vehicle in front of you, maintain a proper distance and wait for a safe time to pass.

Wisconsin law is clear on tailgating: "The operator of a motor vehicle shall not follow another vehicle more closely than is reasonable and prudent, having due regard for the speed of such vehicle and the traffic upon and the condition of the highway."

Here are some tips to help enable you to stop your car in time, in case the vehicle in front of you brakes suddenly:

  • Allow at least 4 seconds of following distance between your vehicle and the vehicle in front of you under ideal driving conditions.
  • Allow more distance at night or during inclement weather such as rain, snow or ice.
  • Be especially cautious when approaching stop lights, intersections and when changing lanes.
  • Anticipate hazardous situations that could cause the driver in front of you to slow or stop suddenly.

If you are being tailgated and the road has a right lane, move over to the right and allow the tailgater to pass. If there is no right lane, you can wait until the road ahead is clear and passing is legal, then slowly reduce speed to encourage the tailgater to pass you.

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