Unconfirmed reports that tailgating led to road rage between two truckers, which ended in a stabbing on the Edens Expressway, is an extreme example of the dangers of follow too closely. Whether tailgating turns out to be the deadly cause of this incident, following too closely slows your reaction time and can lead to a serious of fatal accident.
As many as 25 percent of Chicago car accidents are caused by a rear-end collision, according to state and federal estimates.
Police charged a Wisconsin man with murder last week for allegedly stabbing another trucker on the Edens Expressway near suburban Northfield, the Sun-Times reported.
Reports indicate the two truckers may have been cutting each other off in traffic before pulling over to fight.
An article in the Chicago Tribune listed several techniques area motorists use to try to combat tailgaters:
-Pumping the brakes -Slowing down until the tailgater passes -Activating emergency blinking lights -Changing lanes or moving over -Pulling off to the side of the road
“Swallow your ego and move over,” even if you have to turn off a two-lane road,” Roy Lucke, research manager of the Northwestern University Center for Public Safety told The Tribune.”How much time are you really going to lose if you go over onto a shoulder or onto a side street or a parking lot? Thirty seconds? You let the idiot go by, and you can go back on your way.”
The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration estimates rear-end collisions account for about 1 in 4 crashes, causing 2,000 deaths and almost 1 million injuries each year.