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Tailgaters can be a frustrating and potentially dangerous car safety presence on the road. A tailgater is a driver who follows too closely behind another vehicle, often causing stress and anxiety and increasing the risk of accidents. Here are six simple ways to deal with tailgaters and ensure your safety while on the road.

1. Stay calm

Dealing with tailgaters can be nerve-wracking, but staying calm is essential. Panicking or reacting aggressively can escalate the situation, leading to road rage or dangerous maneuvers. Remember that your primary goal is to arrive at your destination safely. Take deep breaths, relax your grip on the steering wheel, and maintain your composure.

2. Brake carefully

One way to address a tailgater is to brake carefully. Avoid slamming on your brakes suddenly. This can catch the tailgater off guard and lead to a rear-end collision. Instead, gradually reduce your speed by easing off the gas pedal, giving the tailgater a clear signal that they need to maintain a safe following distance. Once they back off, resume your normal speed.

3. Maintain a constant speed

Consistency is key when dealing with tailgaters. Try to maintain a steady speed and avoid unnecessary fluctuations. Erratic driving can frustrate tailgaters even more. By driving predictably, you reduce the chances of provoking aggressive behavior from them.

4. Remain aware of your surroundings

Stay vigilant and be mindful of your surroundings, especially when you have a tailgater behind you. Check your mirrors regularly to keep an eye on their movements. If you notice that the tailgater is becoming increasingly aggressive or appears to be a threat to your safety, consider changing lanes when it’s safe to do so.

5. Move safely out of the tailgater’s way

If it’s safe and possible, changing lanes to allow the tailgater to pass can effectively deal with the situation. Make sure to use your turn signal and check your blind spots before changing lanes. This action not only gets the tailgater off your tail but also allows you to distance yourself from a potentially dangerous driver.

6. Don’t confront the tailgater

Confronting a tailgater can lead to confrontations and road rage incidents, which should be avoided at all costs. Do not make rude gestures, shout, or engage in aggressive behavior toward the tailgater. Focus on your own safety and continue driving responsibly.

What should you do if a tailgater hits your car?

In the unfortunate event that a tailgater rear-ends your vehicle, here are the steps to follow:

  1. Stay calm and check for injuries.
  2. Call the police to report the accident and request medical assistance if necessary.
  3. Exchange information with the tailgater, including insurance details, contact information, and license plate numbers.
  4. Document the scene by taking pictures of the damage and the accident location.
  5. Seek medical attention if you or any passengers are injured.
  6. Notify your insurance company to report the accident and initiate the claims process.

How can you avoid a tailgater in the first place?

While it’s impossible to completely avoid encountering tailgaters, you can take steps to minimize the chances of provoking them. Be sure to stay focused on the road, avoid texting or using your phone, and eliminate any distractions inside your vehicle. Additionally, don’t cut off other drivers. According to The Zebra, cutting off other drivers or making sudden lane changes can irritate other motorists and lead to tailgating and road rage incidents. Lastly, remember to use your turn signals and merge safely.