Greg discusses how to deal with vehicles that are following too closely in this episode of Ask The Expert. 800 CHAB radio presents Ask the Expert with Greg Marcyniuk of Heritage Insurance located in Moose Jaw.
Here's a full transcript of the episode.
Rob Carnie: Greg Marcyniuk's turn on Ask the Expert, Heritage Insurance.
Greg, let's talk about this. I don't know if any of our listeners are going to admit it, but everybody's got a story about tailgating and tailgaters. It can be really irritating when somebody's tailgating you, and something you want to keep in mind before you tailgate somebody else. But it's dangerous.
Greg Marcyniuk: Oh, it is, Rob. It's not only infuriating, but it's very dangerous. In fact, tailgating increases the odds of a rear-end collision, and it's also the most common causes of multiple vehicle crash. Following too closely is a factor where there's — In Saskatchewan alone, there's over a thousand collisions every year. And on average, these collisions actually result in over 400 injuries. And on average, 1 death annually.
So it is very serious. So as a driver, it's important to know how much space you should leave between your vehicle and the one ahead of you. And there's several factors that determine this. First of all, there's your speed. Secondly, there's road condition, as well as vehicle mechanical condition and tires, and also the driver's physical state. So there's a lot of factors when it comes to how far you should be maintaining between yourself and the vehicle in front of you.
So, you are responsible for maintaining a safe following distance from that vehicle — so that you have enough time to stop in an emergency. To avoid these collisions, a great rule of thumb is to leave a minimum of three seconds between your vehicle and the one in front of you. So if you see a sign or a tree, just count 1-1000, 2-1000, 3-1000. And hat's how you can judge yourself.
And again, there's a lot of other factors, such as vehicles. Like, it's not totally universal. If you're following a motorcycle, the motorcycle is a far cry lighter, and they stop a lot quicker, so I would recommend giving yourself more than that three seconds.
The other thing is, be very cautious around heavy vehicles, because they take longer to stop. It's dangerous to pull out too quickly and pull in too quickly, and you may be shortening the gap between you. So again, you've got to really be careful.
Now, what do you do, unfortunately, when a vehicle does come up and they are right on your bumper? The best thing is, rather than accelerate — which a lot of people will do, because that's going to get you closer to the vehicle in front of you — is just slow down and let that vehicle pass. The other thing is, when you're on the Trans-Canada, pull over. The slower traffic should be on the right-hand side. So, you know, that's the other thing. There is always people in a hurry, or they're a little quicker. So you should just pull over and let those vehicles pass.
So again, be very cautious out there, because it is very dangerous when you are tailgating or when you are being tailgated. So again, just words of caution.
Rob: You know when I really hate getting tailgated is in school zones. You're going 38, 40 kilometers per hour through a school zone, and there's somebody right on your tail and you can see them in the rear-view mirror, they're asking you, "Why aren't you going faster?" Because I don't want to kill a child, right?
Greg: Well, that's right, and that's even more so, because kids will be running out, so just take your time. You're never in that big of a rush that you should just leave that three-second lead between you and that vehicle in front. That way, nobody's going to get hurt and we'll all get home safe.
Rob: Just thinking about it, I'm irritated now, Greg.
Greg: I can sense that, Rob.
Rob: Tailgating! Don't do it! Some words of wisdom from Greg Marcyniuk at Heritage Insurance. We can find these tips and get all our insurance needs covered online or in person?
Greg: That's right, nohassleinsurance.ca. And under our blogs, as well. Just come on down, corner of Fairford and 1st, and talk to any of our fine people here.
(Video transcription by Speechpad)