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Automobile Collisions / Workers' Compensation

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What can be done about tailgating in Wisconsin?

When you are traveling in a car, you have a general expectation that all drivers you encounter will follow the rules of the road. You don't expect to have someone behind you driving aggressively. Many times, tailgating leads to accidents and accidents lead to serious injury and property damage.

When someone behind you follows too closely, you feel like you are powerless to control the situation. The person doing the tailgating can be ticketed if caught.

There are some things to think about when someone is tailgating:

The person that is being tailgated doesn't care if you are in a hurry or if you have the prettiest car on the road. They don't want the sight of your vehicle to fill their rear-view mirror.

It is irritating when someone drives too closely and may cause the person in front to go slower. If your goal is to get in front of the person, wait your turn, safely pass and maintain the speed limit once you are around the automobile.

In the state of Wisconsin, the law is clear: The person driving behind may not follow more closely than is prudent and reasonable. This person must have regard for the speed of the car in front and the condition of the highway.

If the person in front suddenly threw on the brakes, would the car behind have time to stop? The person behind must allow no less than two seconds between vehicles in the daytime. There must be three seconds at night and four seconds if the weather is bad.

Stop lights, stop signs and intersections are dangerous places to tailgate because of the quick stop that may happen. If you are the driver of the car in front, the fear factor is huge.

If you have been involved in a car accident that wasn't your fault, whether it was from someone tailgating you or not, you may want to call in an attorney to deal with insurance companies and the civil court system. Have you been injured? You may need to be paid for your medical bills and time off the job.

Source: Wisconsin Department of Transportation, "Tailgating," accessed June 26, 2015

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