Tailgating is when a driver drives behind another vehicle while not leaving sufficient distance to stop without causing a collision if the vehicle in front stops suddenly.[1]

The safe distance for following another vehicle varies depending on various factors including vehicle speed, weather, visibility and other road conditions. Some jurisdictions may require a minimal gap of a specified distance or time interval. When following heavy vehicles or in less than ideal conditions (e.g. low light or rain), a longer distance is recommended.

A typical example of tailgating. The first car is being followed very closely by another.


There can be several reasons for tailgating.

Preventing cut ins

Tailgating can occur when a vehicle attempts to prevent another vehicle on the right or left from cutting in front of them. The tailgating (or preventing) vehicle will drive as close as possible to another leading vehicle to prevent the side vehicle from cutting in. Like all forms, this practice of tailgating is illegal and attempts to force the side vehicle to slow down and get into the line of traffic behind the tailgating vehicle. This practice is very likely to evoke road rage where one vehicle is blocking and another attempts to defy the block.


Tailgating can occur because of a lack of perceived risk in so doing. Thus, it is done unconsciously or negligently, very often by people who consider themselves safe drivers and generally obey some other rules of the road. Evidence shows that more experienced drivers are more likely to be involved in rear-end collisions, possibly because they overestimate their skill and become complacent about allowing sufficient distance to avoid an accident.[2]


In its most uncivil form, it can be a case of road rage and/or intimidation. An example would be where the tailgating driver (the driver in the following vehicle) threatens damage to the leading vehicle and its occupants by driving aggressively — perhaps also with use of headlights and horn — to coerce the leading vehicle's driver into getting out of the way. The driver being tailgated might not wish to comply, especially if doing so would involve breaking the law, such as by increasing speed beyond the speed limit or changing lanes without due regard for safety. Note, however, that in some jurisdictions (E.g., India) flashing high beams is a normal and polite method used to signal the intention to overtake.[1] Tailgating can also be dangerous to the tailgater, especially if they are driving closely behind a large vehicle (such as a tractor-trailer, or gas tanker). If the leading vehicle decelerates suddenly (such as when encountering a traffic jam, traffic lights, avoiding pedestrians, etc.), the tailgater has a high risk of causing a rear-end collision, for which in insurance terms, he would always be held responsible. In many jurisdictions, a two second gap is recommended between any two successive moving vehicles, characterised in Britain by the slogan, "only a fool breaks the two second rule".


A form of deliberate tailgating known as slipstreaming, "draft-assisted forced stop", or "draft-assisted forced auto stop" (D-FAS) is a technique used by some hypermilers to achieve greater fuel economy. D-FAS involves turning off the engine and gliding in neutral while tailgating a larger vehicle in order to take advantage of the reduced wind resistance in its immediate wake.[3] Note that this practice is extremely dangerous: while tailgating itself is inherently risky, the danger of collision is increased with D-FAS as power for power brakes can be lost after a few applications of the brake pedal and, with older cars, the pressure that causes power steering to function can be lost as well.[4]

Trailing and columns

Another instance whereby the practice of driving on a road very close to a frontward vehicle or at a close distance may occur is during an occasion whereby the drivers of the two cars are acquainted to one another. This may be due to it being a procession of motor vehicles, typically carrying or escorting a prominent person that wants to avoid interlopers. Another instance may occur where the leading vehicle is showing directions to the trailing vehicle and the trailing vehicle attempts to avoid allowing an interloping vehicle to come in between them.[5] Another sphere wherein tailgating has been observed is among drivers who are in a hurry, or other public road activity whose prerequisite is urgency or agitation.[6]

Fighting against tailgating

Tailgating causes most rear-end crashes in South Australia.[7] Some motorways in the United Kingdom and Australia feature certain road markings which can help resolve this problem. Consisting of an arrangement of chevrons, these remind the driver not to tailgate, and assist in the two second rule.[8] There is also signage in Britain on smart motorways when they are very congested, to say "stay in lane : congestion". This is to remind motorists that there is, in these conditions, no longer an overtaking lane, merely a number of lanes, some moving faster than others at different points in time (undertaking by inner lanes being entirely permissible in this circumstance). Those in the outermost lanes should, as usual, maintain a two second gap to the vehicle in front; as long as they do this, it is officially discouraged to change lanes. Public goods vehicle licence training in Britain states that lorries should increase the 2 second gap to the vehicle in front to 3 seconds when being tailgated, to ensure that emergency braking can be a little gentler, to compensate for the tailgating vehicle behind having eaten up its own reaction time to almost nothing.

In Germany, tailgating is punishable with a fine of up to €400. In case of gross negligence, one or more penalty points are given and the driver's license may additionally be immediately suspended for up to 3 months.[9]


  1. ^ "What is tailgating and why is it dangerous". 2014-03-20.
  2. ^ rms.nsw.gov.au
  3. ^ motherjones.com Archived 2007-01-10 at the Wayback Machine
  4. ^ motherjones.com, King of the hypermilers-2 Archived 2007-01-09 at the Wayback Machine
  5. ^ McManus, John (2008). Tactical Emergency Medicine. p. 223.
  6. ^ Hennessy, Dwight (2005). Contemporary Issues in Road User Behavior and Traffic Safety. p. 74.
  7. ^ transport.sa.gov.au - Tailgating campaign
  8. ^ au.news.yahoo.com
  9. ^ "Abstand und Abstandsvergehen" [Distance and Distance Offense] (in German). 2015. Retrieved 4 February 2015.

External links

2019 Ultimate Tailgating 200

The 2019 Ultimate Tailgating 200 was a NASCAR Gander Outdoors Truck Series race held on February 23, 2019, at Atlanta Motor Speedway in Hampton, Georgia. Contested over 130 laps on the 1.54-mile-long (2.48 km) asphalt quad-oval intermediate speedway, it was the second race of the 2019 NASCAR Gander Outdoors Truck Series season.

Brake test

A brake test, also known as a brake check, occurs when a driver deliberately brakes very hard in front of another driver who is tailgating, causing the second driver to swerve or otherwise react quickly to avoid an accident. Often, a brake check also refers to simply pressing the brakes hard enough to activate the brake lights, signaling to the other driver that an increased space cushion is needed.

Brake testing and tailgating are examples of aggressive driving, and both may be punishable as vehicular assault, careless or reckless driving, or vehicular homicide if death occurs.

Because of the aggressive and dangerous nature of this move in motor sports, a driver who makes such a move is often penalized. Penalties given for such actions can vary from time penalties, to exclusion from a race or event.

Drafting (aerodynamics)

Drafting or slipstreaming is an aerodynamic technique where two vehicles or other moving objects are caused to align in a close group, reducing the overall effect of drag due to exploiting the lead object's slipstream. Especially when high speeds are involved, as in motor racing and cycling, drafting can significantly reduce the paceline's average energy expenditure required to maintain a certain speed and can also slightly reduce the energy expenditure of the lead vehicle or object.

Eddie Robinson Stadium

Eddie Robinson Stadium is a 19,600-seat multi-purpose stadium in Grambling, Louisiana. It opened in 1983 and is home to the Grambling State Tigers football team and Grambling High School Kittens football team. The stadium is named in honor of famous Grambling State University head football coach, Eddie Robinson. It replaced Grambling Stadium. The stadium is oftentimes affectionately referred to as "The Hole" due to the topography of the stadium area.

In 2017, approximately $2 million worth of stadium upgrades were completed. Included in the upgrades were installing new artificial turf, a new larger scoreboard, additional parking and additional tailgating areas.

Ferry Field

Ferry Field is a multi-purpose stadium in Ann Arbor, Michigan. It opened in 1906 and was home to the Michigan Wolverines football team prior to the opening of Michigan Stadium in 1927. It had a capacity of 46,000. It is currently used as a tailgating space for football games.

After football moved to Michigan Stadium, Ferry Field was converted to an outdoor track and field facility and was still used for this purpose until 2018. In 1935 Ohio State sprinter Jesse Owens set world records in the 220 yard dash, the 200 meter dash, the 220 yard low hurdles, the 200 meter low hurdles, and the long jump, and tied the world record in the 100 yard dash.

Greenville-Pickens Speedway

Greenville-Pickens Speedway is a race track located in Easley, South Carolina, just west of Greenville, South Carolina. The track hosts weekly NASCAR sanctioned races. Several touring series visit the track each year, including the Whelen Southern Modified Tour and the NASCAR Grand National Division. NASCAR Monster Energy Cup and Xfinity Series teams frequently test at the track since testing is allowed only at non-current NASCAR tracks. The Upper South Carolina State Fair has been held at the fairgrounds adjacent to the race track since 1964. Capacity of the track is 35,000 including the Dale Earnhardt backstretch, a three-tiered parking area where fans can take in races while tailgating or camping.

The track held 29 races on the NASCAR Grand National (now Monster Energy Cup) tour between 1951 until 1971. It also hosted two NASCAR Busch Grand National (now Xfinity Series) tour races in 1983. The April 10, 1971 race at Greenville-Pickens Speedway was the first NASCAR race nationally televised from start to finish, on ABC Wide World of Sports.

Harry Turpin Stadium

Harry Turpin Stadium is a 15,971-seat multi-purpose stadium in Natchitoches, Louisiana. It opened in 1975 and is home to the Northwestern State University Demons football team.

Donald Gray Horton (1945-2013), a Coushatta lawyer and philanthropist who served as the long-term president of the NSU Athletic Association, formulated the establishment in 2003 of the innovative Demon Alley tailgating zone south of Turpin Stadium. The zone is equipped with utility connections, including cable television.

Husky Stadium

Alaska Airlines Field at Husky Stadium (colloquially known as simply Husky Stadium) is an outdoor football stadium in the northwest United States, located on the campus of the University of Washington in Seattle, Washington.

It has been the home of the Washington Huskies of the Pac-12 Conference since 1920, hosting its football games. The university also holds its annual commencement at the stadium in June. It is located at the southeastern corner of campus, between Montlake Boulevard N.E. and Union Bay, just north of the Montlake Cut. The stadium is served by the University of Washington Link light rail station, as well as several bus routes.

The stadium underwent a $280 million renovation that was completed in 2013. Its U-shaped design was specifically oriented (18.167° south of due east) to minimize glare from the early afternoon sun in the athletes' eyes. The stadium's open end overlooks scenic Lake Washington and the Cascade Mountains, including Mount Rainier. Prior to the 2013 renovation, its total capacity of 72,500 made it the largest stadium in the Pacific Northwest and one of the largest stadiums in college football.

Jiffy Lube Live

Jiffy Lube Live (originally known as the Nissan Pavilion) in Bristow, Virginia, is an outdoor amphitheater in suburban Prince William County, about 35 miles west of Washington, D.C. Owned and operated by Live Nation, the amphitheater can seat 25,262: 10,444 in reserved seats and 14,818 on the lawn.

Louisiana State University traditions

Louisiana State University is the flagship university of the state of Louisiana, United States. This article describes the traditions of the university.

Piggybacking (security)

In security, piggybacking, similar to tailgating, refers to when a person tags along with another person who is authorized to gain entry into a restricted area, or pass a certain checkpoint. It can be either electronic or physical. The act may be legal or illegal, authorized or unauthorized, depending on the circumstances. However, the term more often has the connotation of being an illegal or unauthorized act.To describe the act of an unauthorized person who follows someone to a restricted area without the consent of the authorized person, the term tailgating is also used. "Tailgating" implies without consent (similar to a car tailgating another vehicle on the freeway), while "piggybacking" usually implies consent of the authorized person.Piggybacking came to the public's attention particularly in 1999, when a series of weaknesses were exposed in airport security. A study showed that the majority of undercover agents attempting to pass through checkpoints, bring banned items on planes, or board planes without tickets, were successful. Piggybacking was revealed as one of the methods that was used in order to enter off-limits areas.

Rear-end collision

A rear-end collision (often called simply rear-end or in the UK a shunt) occurs when a vehicle crashes into the one in front of it. Common factors contributing to rear-end collisions include driver inattention or distraction, tailgating, panic stops, and reduced traction due to wet weather or worn pavement. Rear-end rail collisions occur when a train runs into the end of a preceding train.

Shakedown Street (vending area)

Shakedown Street is the area of a jam band parking lot where the vending takes place. It is named after the Grateful Dead song of the same name, and began in the early 1980s in the parking lots at Grateful Dead concerts. Items sold have included food, beverages and alcoholic beverages, clothing (such as T-shirts) and jewelry, among others. Ticket scalping may also occur.

Spartan Stadium (East Lansing, Michigan)

Spartan Stadium (formerly Macklin Field and Macklin Stadium) opened in 1923 in East Lansing, Michigan, United States. It is primarily used for football, and is the home field of the Michigan State University Spartans. After the addition of luxury boxes and club seating in 2004–2005, the capacity of the stadium grew from 72,027 to 75,005—though it has held more than 80,000 fans—making it the Big Ten's sixth largest stadium.

Tailgate party

A tailgate party is a social event held on and around the open tailgate of a vehicle. Tailgating, which primarily takes place in the United States, often involves consuming alcoholic beverages and grilling food. Tailgate parties occur in the parking lots at stadiums and arenas, before and occasionally after games and concerts. People attending such a party are said to be 'tailgating'. Many people participate even if their vehicles do not have tailgates. Tailgate parties also involve people bringing their own alcoholic beverages, barbecues, food etc. which is sampled and shared among fans attending the tailgate. Tailgates are intended to be non-commercial events, so selling items to the fans is frowned upon.

Tailgate parties have spread to the pre-game festivities at sporting events besides American football, such as basketball, hockey, association football, and baseball, and also occur at non-sporting events such as weddings, barbecues, and concerts.

The Grove (Ole Miss)

The Grove is the tailgating area located at the center of the University of Mississippi (Ole Miss) campus. It is approximately 10 acres (4.0 ha) in size. The Grove takes its name from "the oak, elm and magnolia trees surrounding the area".

Ultimate Tailgating 200

The Ultimate Tailgating 200 is a NASCAR Gander Outdoors Truck Series race held at Atlanta Motor Speedway from 2004 until 2012, and returned to the schedule in 2015 as part of the Folds of Honor QuikTrip 500 weekend, where the track held a same-day doubleheader with the Xfinity Series' Rinnai 250.


WUSM-FM (88.5 FM) is a radio station broadcasting a AAA format. Licensed to Hattiesburg, Mississippi, United States, the station serves the Hattiesburg-Laurel area. The station is currently owned by University of Southern Mississippi.WUSM offers a variety of public affairs programs and music that would otherwise not be available. WUSM's diverse programming includes American Roots Music jazz, blues, Adult Album Alternative, alternative rock and local artists.

WUSM has embarked on a major awareness campaign in January 2011. Starting with a yearly golf tournament, A Round for Roots Radio, Roots Radio 88.5 spent 2011 engaging in a social media campaign to raise awareness and listenership in the community. WUSM hosted a series of concerts in conjunction with fall football games on the University of Southern Mississippi campus. Known as the WUSM Tailgate Concert Series, eight artists played tailgating events at the home games in 2011. Starting with Southbound Crescent on September 3, the free concerts were broadcast live on WUSM.

WUSM is also co-promoted a live concert with The Saenger Theatre and 206 Front with Leon Redbone on September 26. WUSM is also promoting a monthly series of live concerts in Hattiesburg featuring local, regional, and national acts that will be fund raising events for the radio station.

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