You see it all the time in traffic jams: Impatient drivers inching up to tailgate the cars ahead of them. Many people drive with just a few feet between their bumpers.
It’s a bit perplexing, really. Does the extra foot or two really make a difference? Will they really get where they’re going all that much sooner? After all, they’re not going to “push” the entire line of cars forward. No one in that traffic jam wants to be in the traffic jam. Tailgating doesn’t solve it, and many experts note that it just makes things worse.
Part of the problem is that you can brake much faster than you can accelerate. This causes a chain reaction as car after car has to hit the brakes since they’re all traveling too close together. The cars at the front start moving again, but the cars behind them slow down more quickly and force those behind them to do the same. In the end, they actually cause the very backup that they’re trying to get out of. If they just followed at a more reasonable distance, the traffic jam may disappear entirely.
Plus, this doesn’t even take into account that tailgating in a traffic jam can cause secondary accidents. All it takes is a split-second to make a mistake that causes another crash and snarls traffic yet again. Not only do drivers not get home any sooner; they might not get home at all.
If you get injured in a traffic jam by an impatient driver, you need to know how to seek financial compensation.