Whether you are rushing to get to work or are frustrated when you are stuck behind a motorist who is driving far below the posted speed limit, following too closely behind the vehicle in front of you is a dangerous behavior that can lead to serious accidents.
Tailgating is a serious problem in West Palm Beach and on other roads and highways throughout the State of Florida. When a driver gets too close to the car in front, reaction time between vehicles diminishes, putting the vehicles at risk for a rear-end collision.
At Hollander Law Firm, we are very familiar with accidents caused by reckless drivers, including motorists who follow too closely behind other vehicles. While tailgating may be a common driving practice on the crowded roads and highways of West Palm Beach, trailing a vehicle is high-risk behavior often performed by reckless and impatient drivers. If you have been injured in a crash or collision caused by a tailgating driver, Hollander Law Firm can help. An experienced Boca Raton car accident lawyer will carefully review your case and work to hold the responsible driver liable for your injuries.
Following Too Closely Behind Another Vehicle is Dangerous and Illegal in Florida
In Florida, following too closely behind another vehicle is considered a moving violation. Florida Statute 316.0895 provides that a driver is prohibited from following behind another vehicle “more closely than is reasonable and prudent,” taking into account the speed of the vehicles as well as traffic and highway conditions.
Even if you are unfamiliar with the Florida traffic code, you have probably heard of the “three-second rule” (sometimes called the four-second rule) which provides that motorists should stay at least three seconds of traveling distance behind the vehicle that is directly in front of them. This rule is meant to serve as a guideline to ensure that drivers maintain a safe distance between vehicles to avoid a rear-end collision. Unfortunately, not all motorists obey the law and the rules of the road, leading to serious accidents and injuries.
Proving the Driver Who Hit You Was Following Too Closely
In order to recover financial compensation outside of your personal injury protection (PIP) policy, you need to be able to prove that the driver who hit you was legally at fault in the accident. Without evidence of fault, you will not be able to recover the financial compensation you deserve. So, how do you prove that someone was tailgating?
As with all forms of driver negligence, there are several potential ways to prove that the driver who hit you was tailgating. When investigating your case, Boca Raton car accident lawyer Gregg Hollander will be looking for evidence such as:
- The Extent of the Damage to Each Vehicle Involved in the Crash
Obviously, if you were involved in a tailgating accident, your vehicle will be damaged in the rear and the other driver’s vehicle will be damaged in the front. But, examining the extent of the damage can provide insight into how fast each vehicle was traveling at the time of the collision, and this in turn can provide insight into how close the trailing vehicle was following at the time of the collision.
- Skid Marks on the Roadway
Skid marks on the roadway can show each vehicle’s location at the time the driver applied the brakes, and this too can help show that the trailing vehicle was following too closely. However, skid marks can fade due to rain and traffic, so it is important that you hire an attorney to conduct an on-scene investigation as soon as possible.
- The Other Driver’s Statements to the Police
While some drivers will try to deny wrongdoing and may even make false statements to the police, others will admit that they were tailgating or following more closely than the weather and traffic conditions permitted. If the other driver admitted to the responding officer that he or she made a mistake, your attorney can obtain a copy of the police report and use it to help prove your claim for damages.
- Statements from Eye Witnesses
If pedestrians or other drivers witnessed the accident, they may be able to confirm that the driver who hit you was following too closely. As part of the investigative process, attorney Gregg Hollander will seek to identify any and all witnesses who may be able to provide statements in support of your claim for financial compensation.
- Traffic or Security Camera Footage
Is it possible that your accident was caught on video? There are traffic and security cameras throughout the Palm Beach area. If one of these cameras captured the collision, the video may provide proof that the driver who hit you was tailgating in the moments immediately prior to the crash.
- Vehicle “Black Box” Data
Modern cars, trucks and SUVs are packed with driver aids and other new technologies, and they constantly generate and store data about drivers’ behaviors behind the wheel. If this data is available, attorney Gregg Hollander may be able to obtain it through a subpoena and use it to establish liability.
Common Injuries Associated With Tailgating and Rear-End Collisions
When a car is struck by a driver who is following too closely, the occupants of the vehicle in front can suffer many different types of injuries. Depending upon the speed, size and weight of the vehicles involved in the crash, these injuries can range from minor to severe. Below are some of the most common types of injuries associated with tailgating accidents and rear-end collisions:
- Head injuries and concussions
- Traumatic brain injuries (TBIs)
- Spinal cord injuries
- Broken bones
- Cuts and lacerations
- Facial disfigurement
Contact a Boca Raton Car Accident Lawyer if You’ve Been Hurt by a Tailgating Driver
Tailgating accidents are often caused by careless, reckless and even hostile drivers who fail to adhere to the rules of the road. If you or a loved one has been hurt or killed in a vehicle collision when another driver was following too closely behind your car, you may be entitled to pursue a personal injury or wrongful death lawsuit against the negligent driver.
Hollander Law Firm has extensive experience helping accident victims in West Palm Beach, Boca Raton and other areas in Florida recover fair compensation in these types of events. Call us today at 561-347-7770 to schedule your free consultation with a dedicated and skilled Boca Raton car accident lawyer.