Tailgating, or following too closely behind another vehicle, is a common cause of car accidents in Illinois and throughout the United States. When a driver follows too closely, they reduce the amount of time they have to react to sudden stops or unexpected events on the road, increasing the risk of a rear-end collision. The Chicago car accident attorneys of Zneimer & Zneimer has seen many crashes as a result of tailgating.
The law is not ambiguous. In Illinois, if a driver causes an accident while tailgating, they can be held liable for any resulting injuries or damages. They may even also face criminal charges such as reckless driving or negligent driving. These charges can result in fines, jail time, and suspension or revocation of driving privileges.
According to the Illinois Vehicle Code, “The driver of a motor vehicle shall not follow another vehicle more closely than is reasonable and prudent, having due regard for the speed of such vehicles and the traffic upon and the condition of the highway.” 625 ILCS 5/11-710 (a). What is “reasonable and prudent” includes consideration of weather, lighting conditions, road conditions, and others.
In a tailgating accident, the driver who was following too closely is typically considered to be at fault, as they did not leave enough space for the vehicle in front of them to safely stop or maneuver. However, the driver who was in front can also be at fault if they made an unexpected stop or sudden lane change.
It is important to always leave a safe following distance between your vehicle and the one in front of you to avoid accidents and penalties.
Here at Zneimer & Zneimer we have prosecuted a number of cases involving rear-end collisions caused by tailgaters and can help with investigation and prosecution of your case.