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How to deal with aggressive tailgaters

Tailgating is when a vehicle is driving too closely behind you and is one of the main reasons for rear-end crashes as it does not allow enough reaction time if something happens and the car in front must come to a sudden stop.

MotorHappy has provided a few tips on how to deal with these road users if you encounter one out on your daily commutes.

Deliberate tailgaters

Deliberate tailgaters use it as a bullying tactic to intimidate you to move out of their way as quickly as possible.

“With road rage a real concern on South Africa’s roads, your safest option is to take a deep breath and move out of the way as quickly as possible,” said MotorHappy.

“As tempting as it might be, don’t provoke the tailgater and just let him go. Drive defensively, not aggressively.”

Doing something like a brake check or slowing down on purpose could easily turn into a road rage incident at the next red light, or worse, see them driving into the back of your vehicle when they do not respond quickly enough.

Passive tailgaters

Passive tailgaters are simply not paying enough attention, or they might be inexperienced drivers who are unaware of the dangerous mistakes they are making.

You might be tempted to drive a bit faster to put space between you and the person behind, but this could lead to you becoming the tailgater to someone else and once again causing a dangerous situation.

“If possible, move out of the way and let the driver pass. Alternatively, gradually slow down,” said MotorHappy.

“That way, if you do need to apply brakes, the driver behind you might notice and take quick steps to prevent a collision. If you do crash, at least it will be at a slower speed with potentially less damage.”

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