What is a tailgating? Tailgating is a verb with two meanings. Hosting or attending an informal gathering located at the back of a parked vehicle is one form of tailgating. One can also tailgate by driving too closely behind another vehicle. Either way, it’s all about “activity” going on behind a car. This could be your own little party, or the police having their own kind of party back there.
Tailgating in driving has been an issue on my mind since my daughter had her first accident a few months ago. She didn’t share all of the details with me, but I know that she rear ended another driver. I suppose it was to be expected since I was just bragging that she has been driving for 4-1/2 years and hadn’t gotten a ticket, nor had a wreck. So it’s my fault that the karma monkey tripped her up. Statistics show that one in every five new drivers has an accident within the first year of driving. And, although I believe that my daughter is a good, careful driver, she drives under the speed limit like a little old lady. Her biggest pet peeve is people who tailgate her. I noticed that she’s constantly complaining and watching them in her rearview mirror, rather than watching out for traffic in front of her. The back of her car is covered with bumper stickers. I tell her that perhaps she should consider changing them to ones with larger types so people don’t have to follow so closely to read them. She’s not amused. So, I am assuming that is what caused her accident. Being fixated on who was too close behind her, rather than how close she was to the person ahead.
I believe now, with heavy traffic and road rage, people don’t usually even leave a car length between them and the car ahead. Not only because they refuse to allow anyone to merge, but also because people will just whip in between without a signal or warning, whatsoever. So, although you should leave a 3 second stopping distance between you and the car ahead (in dry weather), in heavy traffic, people will constantly merge in leaving little space in between and therefore causing you danger. In traffic, it’s difficult. But you may want to try it on a road trip. Just remember the three second rule. In wet weather conditions, double it to a six second rule. And, in icy or snowy weather conditions, triple it to a nine second rule.

Until next week…

Daun Thompson
Writer / Comedienne / Artist

Tailgating – Comedy Defensive Driving