Everyone hates it when someone tailgates them on the road. When someone drives too close to your car, it creates a certain kind of discomfort that makes you want to brake-check them. Since that’s illegal, what should you do when someone rides your bumper on a highway?
You should try every safety precaution to get someone off your bumper if they’re dangerously close to you. In this scenario, pulling off, keeping a constant speed, and slowing down are some of the most common ways to avoid a car crash. Most importantly, you must keep your cool and never seek revenge.
There are many exciting ways to make someone pay for tailgating you, but there are also many road rules. If you don’t wish to wind up in prison anytime soon, you should consider keeping your cool and following the advice in this article whenever you find yourself in an encounter with a tailgater.
How Do You Deal with a Tailgater?
Tailgating is illegal, unsafe, and enraging. The enraging part is what makes it dangerous, as it’s one of the significant causes of brake-checking, which ultimately leads to car crashes. If you’re not careful with someone riding your bumper, you may end up getting yourself in legal trouble.
The best way to get started with dealing with a tailgater is by keeping your cool. Anger, and subsequently, road rage, is one of the biggest motivators of harmful traffic practices, leading to trouble with law enforcement.
When someone is tailgating you, they either want you to get angry, or they’re trying to drive too quickly. However, the only speed limit you’re legally obligated to follow is the government-imposed speed limit; you can ignore everything else.
In addition to keeping your cool and following all the traffic rules, the next section will show you precise actions to take to ward off a tailgater riding your bumper.
What Do You Do When Someone Rides Your Bumper?
There are many things you can do to avoid an accident when someone starts to ride your bumper. Before getting into those, it’s even more important to learn what you shouldn’t do: get angry.
The worst way to deal with any traffic issue is to get angry and make them pay for their actions. Instead of doing that, here are some ways to deal with that persistent tailgater riding your bumper.
Most times, the easiest way to deal with a tailgater is to get out of their way. There are many motivations for tailgating, but they will gladly accept the opportunity and speed ahead of you if it’s to move faster.
Granted, pulling over for a tailgater to go ahead isn’t as satisfying as slamming on your brakes and letting them swerve away from the road suddenly, but it’s safer. Also, you will be confident that you’re not breaking any road rules that could warrant a fine or imprisonment term.
If you’re on a significant multilane highway, this may not be the best idea. Once you pull over, it becomes increasingly difficult to reenter the traffic, and you don’t want to be slowed down because you’re trying to avoid someone riding your bumper.
2. Keep your speed constant.
Sometimes, a tailgater may be trying to get past you, but because they cannot determine if it’s safe, they’ll stay back and tailgate until they can be sure. While this isn’t a good driving practice, you can avoid it easily by maintaining a constant speed.
When you go at a certain speed and maintain it constantly, the tailgater can tell if it’s safe to overtake you or not. If they deem it fit to overtake you, they will, leaving your bumper free and a lot safer.
3. Move to the right
Pulling over is usually not an option if you know the tailgater is trying to get past you on the highway. Instead of trying to pull over, you can move to the right side of the road to slow down and allow the tailgater to speed past.
Remember, you’re a driver and not highway police. If someone is willing to drive a tad faster than what you feel is safe, it’s not up to you to prevent them from doing so. If you believe they’re flouting major traffic regulations, you can pull over to report them to the police.
However, doing a speed competition with someone riding your bumper is usually not a good idea. If you can spare a few seconds, try slowing down, and if you’re not on a major highway, you can pull over wholly.
4. Don’t drive too fast.
Another action that you might want to consider to evade a tailgater is driving so fast that you’ll leave them behind you. However, you shouldn’t even try implementing this idea as you may be breaking the traffic rules, and it’s usually only a temporary fix.
If you can’t afford to pull over or slow down for the tailgater to get past, the next option is to maintain a consistent speed to help the other driver determine if it’s safe to overtake you. However, you shouldn’t break the speed limits to go far ahead of them.
If you do this, they’ll catch up with you sooner or later, making it just a temporary fix. Also, you may get flagged for over-speeding, and you know the potential effects of that, even if you have a tailgater.
Can You Call the Police If Someone Is Tailgating You?
Most times, you won’t have to call the police to handle a tailgater. Most people riding your bumper simply don’t know much about road rules or are just in too much of a hurry to overtake you. You can make things right easily without having to involve the police.
However, if you tried the appropriate ways to handle a tailgater without success, you may have to call the police for help. You can also call the police if you have any reason to believe that a driver might endanger other drivers on the road, even if they aren’t tailgating you.
However, this should only be one of the last resorts. Most times, you can resolve simple road issues quickly without having to answer questions from the police.