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Can you get in trouble for tailgating another driver?

Tailgating, or following too closely, is a form of aggressive driving and can get you in trouble in Maryland. For example, you could receive a traffic ticket or perhaps even face criminal charges, depending on how serious your alleged tailgating and other behaviors were.

Sometimes, tailgating is something that motorists do subconsciously. Perhaps it is a habit they picked up from their parents, or they are in a hurry and do not realize the extent to which they are rushing. Many times, though, it is a symptom of frustration, conscious risky driving or road rage. Either way, there are many good reasons not to tailgate in addition to the possible legal consequences touched on above.

Property damage and bodily injury

Perhaps the most critical reason to keep a safe distance behind another car is that sudden braking or stopping by the driver in front of you could result in at least one car being damaged, and more than that, people becoming injured.

Direct and indirect financial repercussions

You could also face traffic tickets and charges, increased insurance premiums and even a lawsuit. The stress and time spent on these issues in addition to possible jail time and time spent recovering from injuries could also threaten your stable income if you have one.

If you are driving without a license or have had your license revoked or suspended, expect the financial and legal toll to be higher. The same idea applies if you are driving without insurance or under the influence, especially if you are younger than 21.

Frustration that escalates

If you are tailgating because, say, the other driver cut you off a minute ago and you are frustrated, then you could be at risk for escalation. For instance, if the driver provokes you by seeming unaffected or by slowing down too much for it to be unintentional, you may commit an impulsive act that you will regret.


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