Posted on Aug 05, 2020

How to Deal Safely with Tailgaters

There are few things more frustrating for motorcyclists to deal with on the road than a tailgater. With these individuals, it can seem that no matter what speed you are traveling, they will not be satisfied and they can often seem determined to get their front bumper as close to your rear as they can.

These road rage practitioners are annoying and dangerous enough to average motorists and exponentially more threatening to motorcycle riders who are at a much higher risk of serious injury if they are rear-ended. To help keep riders safe and clear of these dangerous individuals, we would like to discuss some safe ways for riders to deal with tailgaters the next time they decide to park themselves directly over your back tire.

One of the first things riders should check if they catch a motorist riding their tail is their own speed. If you are legitimately going to slow, it might be best for you to speed up somewhat to better keep up with the speed limit and flow of traffic. This can be a common issue among newer riders that are not yet comfortable taking their bike up to higher speeds. In this case, we would recommend that new riders stick to roads with lower speed limits until they are more confident in their abilities at higher speeds.

If you are riding at an appropriate speed, and you still have a dangerous driver following too close, try adjusting your lane position to see farther up the road. You may find yourself riding slowly because the vehicle in front of you is driving too slowly. Adjusting to your lane position to see more of the road ahead of the vehicle in front of you will allow you to better see and react to what is coming. This will prevent you from having to make any sudden reactions that could lead to your tailgater striking you from behind when they cannot react fast enough.

Another strategy that seems somewhat counterintuitive is increasing your following distance from any traffic in front of you. This will mean slowing down somewhat, which can often force the tailgater to slow down in turn and give you more space. Alternatively, a few quick taps of your brakes to flash your brake lights might be enough to alert the driver behind you that they have invaded your space. For those drivers that genuinely did not mean to follow too closely, this is usually enough to get them to back off and give you more space.

Finally, if all else fails to get the tailgater to give you adequate space, one of the safest things to do is simply pull over and let them go by. While this might interrupt an enjoyable ride or make you late to your destination, this will allow you the proper space to ride safely and comfortably once the tailgater has passed. If you get back on the road behind your tailgater, remember to allow plenty of space between the two of you should you need to react and avoid an accident caused by them down the road.

While these are all things that riders can do to make their situation safer, it is still impossible to control the actions of other motorists and accidents can still happen. If you or a loved one has been injured in a motorcycle accident, the attorneys at Hupy and Abraham have the skills necessary to take on your case and win you the best possible reward. Please call us at 800-800-5678 or chat online 24/7 at hupy.com to start building your case. 

For more relevant news and articles for bikers, please check out our Current News for Riders page on hupy.com
Jason F. Abraham
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Managing Partner, Hupy and Abraham