In Alberta the fine for tailgating is $233. No one likes to be tailgated, yet millions of people do it every day. Some do it because they are running late or impatient, while others tailgate out of spite or “road rage.”
Still, others follow too closely out of sheer ignorance of its dangers. Tailgating is by far one of the most dangerous habits a driver can pick up. According to a study, drivers are at the highest risk of rear-ending a vehicle when they are following less than three seconds behind the vehicle in front of them. When drivers have to stop abruptly, tailgaters are often left with little or no time to brake. Following too closely to the vehicle in front of you is asking for trouble, but fortunately, there are some ways you can avoid a tailgating accident.
If you are guilty of tailgating:
Keep a safe driving distance between you and the car in front of you. How do you know what a safe distance is? A way to calculate a safe driving distance is by traveling at least three seconds behind the vehicle in front of you. In other words, once the back of the vehicle you are following passes a marker, it should take at least three seconds for the front of your vehicle to reach the same marker. Double this distance during adverse driving conditions, such as fog or rain.
If you are being tailgated:
If you are being tailgated by an irresponsible driver, there are some steps you can take to reduce your chance of being rear-ended. Keep in mind that most tailgaters are impatient and may simply wish to get around slower-moving traffic on the roadways. If possible, move to a different lane and allow a tailgater to pass. If that is not possible, maintain the speed limit and leave more than enough space between you and the vehicle in front of you.
– Sgt. Brian Herrick
Royal Canadian Mounted Police
Central Alberta Traffic Services