July 12, 2010 @ 6:26 am

We’ve all had the frustration ( and sometimes downright fear) of a driver following much too close behind you on the road.  There are several things you can do as a safe driver to reduce the danger of a rear-end collison – accidents often  caused by people following too closely to the car in front.

As a refresher, make sure you know how close is “too close.” Experts say to use the ‘three second” rule. Pick a fixed object in front. When the car in front passes that object, three seconds should go by before YOU pass the object. In poor weather, it should be 4-5 seconds. You can also use the two-car lengths rule – for more details on maintaining a safe driving distance go to Smartmotorist.com

What to do if someone is not observing good driving practices? Here are a few tips that may help keep both cars safer and help you feel more in control.

1. If you can, simply pull over and let them pass. Just smile and wave them on if possible. The person driving the car behind you may have some frustration or issues of their own. You do NOT want to make it worse.

2. If you’re in the left lane, move into the right lane. The left lane is for passing but many drivers like to hang out there. If someone is coming up behind you move over and let them pass.

3. Are you driving under the speed limit? May you can speed up a little and see if that helps.

4. Try to move away from the vehicle however you can. Sometimes pulling in behind a truck (at a safe distance) will work. Most tailgaters are in a rush and won’t want to sit behind a large vehicle.

5. Whatever you do, DON’T engage with an angry driver and always keep your cool. Episodes of road rage, accidents, and other dangers might be in store if you decide to try and ‘fight back’.

Want more great tips on dealing with tailgaters? We found some great advice at Monkeymeter.com

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