Tailgating can be a rather serious thing. It is both social and safety problems that need to be solved. The way people drive could be determined by their personal behaviours and emotional issues. For this reason, it can be quite hard to predict or control their driving patterns. It can be quite intimidating to see a large car that is looming large in our rear view mirror. Our reactions could vary depending on psychological conditions and current circumstances. We could also perceive things based on the currently accepted rules and norms. In different countries, there could be different standards on how a driver can be considered tailgating or not. For this reason, we may not be able to determine the proper rules and norms. In general, tailgating can be seen as aggressive driving to ensure that both cars can be as close as possible. Other than being a social issue, tailgating could also be considered a significant traffic safety issue. In this case, driver educators and safety experts may have worked out specific rules, depending on the country.
When both cars are travelling at 20mph, the distance should be equal to twice the length of the first car. If both cars are travelling at 50mph, the distance should be at least equal to five car lengths. Another rule is that it takes two seconds for the second car to overtake the first one; if the first car stops abruptly. This could provide enough time for the second car to apply the brake or swerve to avoid collision. Other than speed, the 2-second rule also depends on the reaction time and perception; so it is a flexible rule and the actual distance between cars can be different, depending on the situations. Driving regulations have different standards on the proper reaction time and perception. It can be between half a second or three seconds. Regardless of the rules, it is important to make sure that there’s enough time for the second car to react for abrupt stops. Rules can be adopted with proper flexibility. Rigid adoption to the rule could become a distraction. This is something that we need to avoid.
Whatever we do, it is important that we look far ahead and head up. We should determine our own reaction time and it should eventually be easy to determine the proper distance between cars. It is better to make sure that there’s enough space with the car in front of us. We should think whether we can actually respond appropriately if the car in front of us stops immediately due to specific reasons. This should become a quite easy thing to do. Ensuring proper distance should eventually become a second nature. It is also a good idea to check with the passenger whether the distance between both cars is appropriate. Getting an opinion from someone else should be a good thing to do. With enough practiced guesses, we will gain improved safety for long-term driving.