Tailgating can be very dangerous. It’s the act of following a car too closely and can result in disastrous consequences if the car in front should suddenly stops.

Tailgating is a common problem among irresponsible motorists. Although we might try to better our own driving habits, we sometimes must deal with drivers who don’t have the same honorable intentions.

Learning how to deal with tailgaters is an important part of road safety. It could easily spell the difference between a safe ride home or a multi-car pile-up on the freeway.

Here are some tips to help you deal with tailgating drivers.

Slow Down

Tailgaters are usually born with a need to overtake every car in front of them. While some tailgaters do it because of a genuine emergency (medical or otherwise), others do it out of a reckless need to reach their destination in the shortest time possible.

Speeding will only provoke more persistent speedsters. Slowing down will force tailgaters to give you the space you need to stay at a safe distance.

However, don’t drastically drop speed without warning. Doing so might end up causing the very same accident you were trying to avoid. Instead, slow down gradually. The tailgater will be forced to adjust, and if you’re lucky, pass you completely.

Let Them Pass You

The easiest way to get rid of a tailgater is to give them what they want. Most tailgaters simply want to get ahead of the car in front of them. They do this by putting unsolicited pressure on other drivers by sticking to their rear bumper.

If they look like they’re trying to get past you, make it easier for them. There’s nothing to gain by trying to match their speed. This is where slowing down can give the tailgater ample opportunity to pull alongside and eventually pass you altogether.

It’s always better to be safe than sorry.

Persist But Don’t Provoke

When jockeying for some ample driving space, a bit of prodding is sometimes necessary. You need to send a clear message that tailgating isn’t something you’re ok with.

Hopefully, they’ll take it as a sign to back off and give you some space. However, if they don’t, simply let them overtake you.

It’s better to concede some ground than to pay for it with an accident. You must know when to tell the other driver to back off, and when to surrender your position as the lead car.

Don’t Confront Them

Many tailgaters are simply in a hurry. However, others take sadistic pleasure in getting a rise out of other drivers. Do not get baited into a confrontation with them.

While these kinds of tailgaters are the most annoying sort of offenders, they are also the most dangerous. It’s important not to give them any more reason to put your life at risk. Allow them to pass or concede your lane to them.

If they try to get your attention by yelling obscenities and making offensive gestures, keep your eyes on the road.

Tailgating is just as hazardous to the driver as it is to fellow motorists. But by keeping your wits about you and your pride in check, you’ll get home safely.

Keeping calm provides the smoothest, and most likely, safest ride, to your destination.