Tailgating contributes to many crashes and is considered a leading cause of car accidents across the country. It occurs when a driver follows a car in front of them so closely that they get up on the car’s tail. When the rear driver follows so closely that they do not have much time to react, they are more likely to hit the lead car if the lead car needs to stop suddenly. If you were involved in a tailgating crash caused by another driver, you may be able to recover damages with the assistance of a car accident lawyer. At Nahon, Saharovich & Trotz, our Memphis tailgating accident attorneys can help you pursue a legal claim.Assert Your Rights Following a Tailgating Accident
Often, drivers who tailgate are experiencing stress, and they believe that if they tailgate, they will get to their destination more quickly. They may also be angry or have road rage at a driver in front of them whom they believe is driving too slowly. People impaired by road rage may be as dangerous as a drunk driver. However, tailgating may cause a car accident not just because the rear driver is following too closely but also because it inspires rage in the front driver, who may tap on the brakes for the purpose of getting the rear driver off their tail. Unfortunately, even a front driver's tap on the brakes may result in a loss of control and a rear-end accident.
In most rear-end accidents and perhaps especially tailgating accidents, the rear driver will be found to be at fault. This is because leaving a safe following distance that gives you sufficient time to brake is a road rule in Tennessee and across the South.
In some cases, this rule is codified, as with Tennessee Code section 55-8-124, which addresses following too closely and makes it a misdemeanor to violate this rule. Under this code section, a driver is not supposed to follow another vehicle more closely than what is prudent and reasonable, considering the speed of traffic and the highway conditions. Our tailgating accident lawyers can help Memphis victims aim to hold other drivers accountable for violating this rule.
Trucks and vehicles towing other vehicles are supposed to leave enough space so that an overtaking vehicle can occupy the space in front of them without danger. Similarly, a driver on a road outside a business or residential district is supposed to leave enough space to allow other vehicles to enter and occupy the space, with an exception being funeral processions. Motor trucks that have more than a 1½-ton rated capacity are not supposed to approach any motor truck of equal or greater capacity moving in the same direction on any highway in Tennessee outside the boundaries of any municipality at a distance that is closer than 300 feet, except when overtaking and passing or when one truck or the other has come to a stop to give help to a disabled vehicle.
When a rear driver fails to follow this code section in Tennessee, it may be possible to hold the driver responsible under the theory of negligence per se. In other states, when there has been a violation of a codification of this rule, the driver who violated the rule may be held responsible under the same theory. Negligence per se means "negligence as a matter of law." It applies when there has been a violation of a safety law, and the victim is the type of person whom the law was designed to protect. It may be helpful to sue under this theory because the emphasis may shift to damages rather than liability.Contact a Tailgating Accident Attorney in Memphis
If you are injured in a tailgating crash in Tennessee or a surrounding state, you may be able to recover economic and noneconomic damages. Our firm, which employs over 30 attorneys and 100 staff members, may be able to help you recover damages. Our Memphis tailgating accident lawyers serve victims throughout Tennessee, Kentucky, Missouri, Arkansas, and Mississippi, including in Memphis, Chattanooga, Knoxville, Nashville, Caruthersville, Hayti, Oxford, Starkville, Grenada, Columbus, Tupelo, Meridian, Jackson, Little Rock, and Jonesboro. Call Nahon, Saharovich & Trotz at 800-529-4004 or complete our online form to set up a free appointment with a motor vehicle collision lawyer.