Few things are as frustrating when you’re driving as having a tailgater behind you. Their behavior is clearly very dangerous. You feel like you’re walking on eggshells. If you have to slow down or turn, you worry that they’re going to rear-end your vehicle.
This frustration is why people will sometimes “brake check” a follow vehicle. They do this by sharply pushing on the brakes – or even coming to a complete stop – without warning. You should never do this. For one thing, it is illegal. For another, it is dangerous, and you could cause an accident that you may be held liable for even though the driver of the follow vehicle was initially in the wrong.
But, if you cannot get the tailgater to back off, you’re also facing an elevated injury risk with every mile that they’re behind you. How should you handle the situation instead?
Try to get them to pass
Your main goal in this situation should simply be to get the tailgater to pass. Can you switch lanes to give them a way around? Ideally, the tailgater will take the opportunity and continue on their way without causing a wreck.
In some cases, especially on small roads without many passing zones, people will even pull over to let the tailgater go around. If you do this, make sure you find a safe place. Do not block traffic. It may even be wise to pull into a driveway or a parking lot.
Finally, a good tactic can be to slowly reduce your speed over time. Don’t hit your brakes, but allow your car to drift down to a lower speed. This course of action may be able to influence the tailgater to pass you. It can also make it easier for them to get around on a two-lane highway. Slowing down may grant them a larger gap between oncoming traffic so that they can pass safely.
Have you been injured?
Unfortunately, even these tactics may not be successful and you could definitely be injured if you’re hit by a tailgater. Should this happen, you’ll need to look into your legal options with the assistance of a legal professional if you are interested in pursuing financial compensation for your injuries, medical bills, lost wages and other costs.