Why Do Drivers Tailgate Sports Cars?

Let’s face it, being tailgated by another car is annoying no matter which car you’re driving. However, for some reason, whenever I drive my 2008 Honda S2000, I feel as though anyone behind me has to ride up on my car’s rear-end with an unknown vendetta. Not only is it annoying, but it’s also very dangerous. So why do drivers like to tailgate small sports cars?

There are a couple of reasons why some drivers tailgate sports cars

A front view of a driver driving an Audi TT.
A front view of a driver driving an Audi TT. | Unsplash

While it might sound weird to call out getting tailgated in a sports car specifically, I’m not alone in my complaint. Many Chevrolet Corvette owners on CorvetteForum.com have the same issue, and those aren’t small cars. There are even Nissan 370Z owners that have had the same issue. And while there may not be a scientific reason that drivers tailgate sports cars or smaller cars in general, there are a few speculative reasons as to why.

For example, some of the Corvette owners on that forum stated that the tailgating could be due to a psychological factor. If the tailgater is in a larger SUV or a luxury car, they could feel the need to assert their “dominance” over others on the road, specifically sports cars.

However, a more reasonable answer would be that some drivers may not be aware of the dimensions of their car – like how long the front end is — and end up driving too close to smaller cars.

Perception and driving too slow are also possibilities

While an arrogant or misjudging driver is a possible reason for tailgating, there are a couple more reasons for it. The first has to do with perception. For example, since my Honda S2000 is small and I have to peer out of a tiny convertible window, it’s possible that the drivers behind me only look like they’re tailgating me all the time.

Second, it could be possible that I, and every other sports car owner, are just driving too slow – at least for the tailgaters. According to Firestone Auto Care, “Drivers tailgate for many reasons; sometimes they’re in a hurry, or maybe they have developed a bad habit of following too closely and don’t notice anymore.” That very well could be the case considering there are plenty of careless drivers on the road.

What to do if someone is tailgating you

Whether you’re driving a sports car or not, here are a few simple tips that you can follow if you find someone driving too close to your rear bumper:

  • Maintain a safe distance: The best way to deal with a tailgater is to stay away from them. If a driver tailgates you, switch lanes if possible and let them go past.
  • Stay calm: Although dealing with a tailgater is annoying and aggravating sometimes, it’s best to keep your cool until they pass you or you get away from them.
  • Pull over: If you happen to be on a two-lane road and the driver behind you won’t pass you, then either pull over to the side of the road or into a parking lot, if needed.
  • Keep a constant speed: Remember to maintain your speed (preferably under the speed limit) and let the driver pass you. Speeding up or slowing down could make the issue worse.

Ultimately, some drivers will tailgate your car whether you’re driving an S2000, a Corvette, or a Crown Victoria. It’s just the way the open road is with any rhyme or reason. Just remember, stay calm and get out of the way if they are too close for comfort. Or if you’re driving too slow, speed up (to the speed limit).

RELATED: 5 Reasons Why You Should Not Tailgate a Car