Who is Liable in a Tailgating Accident?

If you get into a tailgating accident, will the driver be liable for your injuries? Fortunately, California’s Vehicle Code includes a stipulation that prohibits tailgating. Section 21703 states that it is a traffic violation to follow another vehicle “more closely that is reasonable and prudent, having due regard for the speed of such vehicle and the traffic upon, and the condition of, the roadway.”

While the Vehicle Code’s description of tailgating might seem subjective, studies by regulatory agencies including the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) provide guidelines for a safe following distance. Thus, the accepted safe driving distance is one car length per 10 miles an hour of speed. So, a safe driving distance when you are going 60 mph is six car lengths.

Rear-End Crashes are Often Really Tailgating Accidents

Since tailgating is the prime contributor to rear-end crashes, law enforcement tend to take it quite seriously. In fact, while the cause of a rear-end collision might be cited as speeding, the real cause is often tailgating. Retired California Highway Patrol (CHP) officer Lt. Mike Soubirous says he vigorously enforced tailgating violations. He often cited drivers for following vehicles at two or three car lengths while traveling at freeway speeds.

If you’ve been injured in a tailgating accident, the person who rear-ended you will most likely be liable. Your attorney will need to prove that the driver breached his or her duty to drive responsibly, and that your injuries are a direct result of the tailgating accident.

“Tailgating is an irresponsible and dangerous behavior. If you were hurt in a tailgating accident, the driver who hit you should be liable for your injuries,” said Attorney Walter Clark, founder of Walter Clark Legal Group.

Our firm has been handling personal injury cases throughout the California Low Desert and High Desert communities for over 30 years. With a 95% success rate, the personal injury attorneys at Walter Clark Legal Group will fight to hold those responsible for your loss accountable and win compensation to cover medical bills, lost wages, and pain and suffering. If you have been injured in an auto accident and want to discuss your legal options, contact us today for a free consultation with an experienced personal injury lawyer. We have offices in Indio, Rancho Mirage, Victorville, and Yucca Valley and represent clients through the entire California Low Desert and High Desert communities.

DISCLAIMER: The Walter Clark Legal Group blog is intended for general information purposes only and is not intended as legal or medical advice. References to laws are based on general legal practices and vary by location. Information reported comes from secondary news sources. We do handle these types of cases, but whether or not the individuals and/or loved ones involved in these accidents choose to be represented by a law firm is a personal choice we respect. Should you find any of the information incorrect, we welcome you to contact us with corrections.

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