Tailgating and weaving


Following too closely behind another motorist and weaving between lanes are aggressive driving behaviors. You could be ticketed or you could cause a crash that may lead to injuries.


Tailgating is a common cause for traffic crashes. So keep these thoughts in mind:

  • Tailgating doesn't make the person in front of you drive any faster.
  • If you must get ahead of the vehicle in front of you, maintain a proper distance and wait for a safe time to pass.
  • Following too closely doesn't allow enough time to stop suddenly in traffic, creating more potential for crashes.

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."

Some recommendations for maintaining a safe distance:

  • Allow no less than two seconds between vehicles during the daytime.
  • Allow more space for different conditions: three seconds at night, and four seconds during inclement weather such as during rain, snow, or ice.
  • Be especially cautious when approaching stop lights, intersections, and when changing lanes.
  • Anticipate potentially hazardous situations that could cause the driver in front of you to stop suddenly.

If someone is following you too closely, move over to allow them to pass and avoid aggressive driving behavior. Allow sufficient space in front of you so that an overtaking vehicle can enter and occupy that space safely.


Weaving is a form of reckless and aggressive driving. Swerving between lanes and cutting off other drivers in traffic is dangerous and it's also illegal.

The law states that no person may endanger the safety of any person or property by the negligent operation of a vehicle.

If you see a motorist weaving in traffic, driving in a zigzag, moving toward one side of the road and then the other, contact your local law enforcement agency. There is a chance that motorist may be driving drunk or is under the influence of drugs.

For more information: