It should probably go without saying, but when you’re driving on the motorway/highway/freeway/whatever you wanna call it, pay attention to your surroundings and don’t drive like a dick.
And, if you don’t know already know that, you’re only going to learn it the hard way.
Tailgating is one of the most risky things you can do while driving. If you drive too close to the car in front of you, you’re not only endangering yourself but those in car in front, behind and any others that might be nearby.
Without any distance between you and the car in front, there’s just no time to react if anything should happen.
Which is what happened here:
Not only is tailgating dangerous, it’s seriously annoying for the driver in front. As anyone who’s seen Spielberg’s debut Duel can attest, having a driver persistently on your tail can lead to some serious sh*t.
Some drivers, however, have figured out a little trick – which is equally as dangerous and definitely not a solution to tailgating – to stop people getting too close.
Called brake-checking, the driver in front hits their brakes briefly in an effort to make the driver behind realise just how close they are.
Both moves are dangerous, and both moves shouldn’t be done, as the above video shows.
The incident occurred on the interstate in Little Chute, Wisconsin, and has caused lots of discussion on social media amongst drivers.
As the driver of the tailgating car gets too close, the car in front ‘brake checks’ them, causing the driver to swerve, lose control and ultimately run off the road into the central reservation.
The driver who crashed was cited by police, reports WFLA. The driver who brake checked them was not identified, however.
Advising drivers what to do if this happens to them, officer Michael Lambie of Fox Valley Metro Police said:
Instead of taking things into your own hands, if you’re upset at another driver or you feel actions are dangerous, call us. That’s what we’re here for. We’ll certainly go up and investigate those incidents.
According to the Highway Code, drivers should ‘drive at a speed that will allow you to stop well within the distance you can see to be clear.’
Leave enough space between you and the vehicle in front so that you can pull up safely if it suddenly slows down or stops.
Allow at least a two-second gap between you and the vehicle in front on roads carrying faster-moving traffic and in tunnels where visibility is reduced. The gap should be at least doubled on wet roads and increased still further on icy roads
Remember, large vehicles and motorcycles need a greater distance to stop. If driving a large vehicle in a tunnel, you should allow a four-second gap between you and the vehicle in front.
Also, even slow-moving pedestrians need to be vigilant on the road, you never know when instant karma will strike
Luckily, we now have dash cams to capture those occasions too:
Drive safe, folks.
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Charlie Cocksedge is a journalist at UNILAD. He graduated from the University of Manchester with an MA in Creative Writing, where he learnt how to write in the third person, before getting his NCTJ. His work has also appeared in such places as The Guardian, PN Review and the bin.