5 Tips to Deal with Tailgaters
You know the types: the entitled numbskulls who act like they own the road, the vehicular terrors that appear way too close in your rear view mirror, the literal space invaders who put not only themselves but others in danger just because they have to go that much faster … Nobody likes tailgaters. They’re selfish, inconsiderate, and, worst of all, potentially deadly.
When encountering them, your natural reaction may be to give them a piece of your mind. And that’s totally understandable – these fools deserve a stern lecture, to put it nicely. However, this will only serve to take your mind off the road and make you more susceptible to upcoming hazards. Instead, we suggest these tips for dealing with tailgaters – safely, that is:
- Remain calm. As was discussed in an earlier blog, your mental state is crucial to your safety on a motorcycle. Anger clouds the mind and makes you more prone to mistakes. Rather than getting mad, just get safe by utilizing the strategies discussed below.
- Try to match traffic speed. Are you encountering tailgaters on the regular? The problem may actually be that you’re going too slow. While you should always ride at a speed you’re comfortable with, you should also go with the traffic flow. If a road is too fast for your liking, find another road with a slower speed limit.
- Pull aside and let them pass. The easiest thing to do if you have someone tailgating you is to pull over and let that person pass you. Always remember to signal your intention first and then slow gradually. As soon as they pass, check your 6 and get back on the road.
- Maintain a safe space cushion. It might seem counterintuitive, but if a tailgater is on you, you should slow down and increase the space cushion between you and the vehicle in front you. This way, if traffic suddenly slows or halts, you and the tailgater will have more space and time to act accordingly. Also, you’ll avoid being sandwiched, which is undesirable, to say the least.
- It’s all about positioning. When you’re being tailgated, you want to position yourself in a way that allows you to see far down the road so you can see hazards early and avoid them in a slow and steady fashion. At traffic lights and stop signs, flash your brake lights, keep an eye on your mirrors, and be prepared to make an evasive maneuver if necessary. Also, stick to the right or left-hand portion of your lane to give the driver enough space to dodge you if he can’t stop in time.
Unfortunately, motorcycle accidents happen no matter what measures riders take to prevent them. If and when the unthinkable happens, the personal injury lawyers at Wilshire Law Firm are here to help. We provide high quality legal representation in Los Angeles and throughout California, and have won $100 million in settlements and verdicts since 2007. To receive a free, comprehensive evaluation of your case, call us at (800) 522-7274 now.