Tailgated-Whose fault is this? - JohnX
Saw someone yesterday who was driving yesterday at 60ph(with her 18 year daughter) on an A road,in the middle lane when she was apparently aggressively tailgated by a young chappie driving a BMW.

After touching the brakepedals lightly a few times to shake him off,slammed the brakes for a second longer causing the car to crash into the back of her Vectra!!!!

Dont have any more details apart from no injuries to occupants, but was interested in knowing how the long arm of the law would look at this, and would be interested in knowing whose fault it would turn out as?

Applying this situation to another possibility,had this happened when both cars were in the fast lane,would the person at fault change?

Tailgated-Whose fault is this? - L'escargot
After touching the brakepedals lightly a few times to shake him
off,slammed the brakes for a second longer causing the car to
crash into the back of her Vectra!!!!


Anyone who does anything which is likely to decrease the distance between their car and another car to a dangerous extent is just plain stupid. Unfortunately there are a lot of drivers who are just not psychologically compatible with driving. Perhaps the driving test should include a test for this personality disorder.
--
L\'escargot.
Tailgated-Whose fault is this? - commerdriver
If both parties admitted to the truth of the situation I would hope that both would be charged with dangerous driving. While the BMW driver would deserve all he got there is no excuse for causing an accident deliberately IMO.
Tailgated-Whose fault is this? - Garethj
Fault in this case is with the car in front I think.

The usual excuse is "I saw a dog run into the road" to turn it into the car behind's fault.
Tailgated-Whose fault is this? - PW
Just as a matter of interest- have you contacted the Police saying what you saw prior to the collision?
Tailgated-Whose fault is this? - Lud
Both drivers should be banned.
Tailgated-Whose fault is this? - Red Baron
Sounds like the BMW driver was 'brake-tested' good and proper.

Car in front does not need an excuse, but I would still recommend an independant witness because the BMW driver may just persuade someone to have seen the whole thing and state that the Vectra did some brake-testing.
Tailgated-Whose fault is this? - tr7v8
Someone on Pistonheads has just got nailed for Dangerous Driving for brake testing someone like this.
Unfortunately their was a Traffic car in the inside lane when he did it.
Tailgated-Whose fault is this? - Chris S
It's up to the car behind to leave a safe stopping distance - they'd have to prove the driver in front was driving dangerously. This means having an independent witness - ie you!
Tailgated-Whose fault is this? - local yokel
Undoubtedly both have done wrong, but whether the law will see it that way is another matter. The possible consequences to other drivers and pedestrians if either had spun off should be enough to come down hard on both.

To the driver in front I'd say that this is a prime example of how two wrongs do not make a right.
Tailgated-Whose fault is this? - Stuartli
>>that this is a prime example of how two wrongs do not make a right.>>

Agreed, although I suspect most of us have done exactly the same thing more than once over the years.

However, if you run into the back of the vehicle in front, then it is your fault. The law takes the view that you should leave sufficient distance to stop safely if necessary and this was clearly not the case.
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What\'s for you won\'t pass you by
Tailgated-Whose fault is this? - moonshine {P}

There is a safer alternative to 'dabbing' on the brakes when you have a tailgater. You quite simply flick the rear fogs on for a second or two, on most cars this looks like the brake lights and can make a tailgater think twice. I can't say how effective it is as I've never tried it, either way it has to be better than causing an accident.

BTW - I agree with most of the previous posts - given the truth of events as told here, both drivers are at fault. I bet the insurance companies will get two very different versions of event though....
Tailgated-Whose fault is this? - rtj70
Many years ago (more than 10) my brother was being tailgated and flicked the rear fog light on. The car backed off but then the driver decided they would try to run him off the road, and began pursuit! Luckily brother had a car phone and dialled police as it was getting dangerous and he made it clear to the other driver what he was doing. Driver sped off and left my brother but sometime later was on the hard shoulder having being pulled by police.

Morale though is do not mess and just let the tailgater pass when safe.
Tailgated-Whose fault is this? - bedfordrl
Must have good eyesight to notice that the daughter was eighteen !, were you looking where you were going or were accesing daughters ages ?.
Tailgated-Whose fault is this? - Tonker
no-one else seems to have cottoned on to the fact they were in lane 2. The idiot in the Vectra should have pulled into lane 1 and been driving in that one; the idiot in the BMW was presumably trying (badly) to tell her that.

Two idiots, unfortunately, Ms Self-Righteous in the Vectra will get £2K in whiplash and a repaired car and no loss of NCB for being one of the most annoying people on the road (as I read it) - and she will keep on driving thinking that everybody else on the road is aggressive because she keeps getting flashed at. The BMW driver deserves it for being too close, but in my ideal world, the middle lane idiots would be instantly banned.
Tailgated-Whose fault is this? - bedfordrl
I seem to remember there being in existence a Middle Lane Owners Club !!.
Tailgated-Whose fault is this? - Stuartli
>>but in my ideal world, the middle lane idiots would be instantly banned.>>

The RAC used to label them CLODS - Centre Lane Owner Drivers' Society...:-)
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What\'s for you won\'t pass you by
Tailgated-Whose fault is this? - Pugugly {P}
No mention on the exact road configuration was it a M type road with three lanes in both directions (so why was the BM
tailgaiting and not overtaking) was there anyting in lane one ?.
Tailgated-Whose fault is this? - wotspur
"she was driving in the middle lane", if you read it correctly, so what exactly was going on in the inside lane, why didn't she just move over, and why didn't MR BMW, use the overtaking lane.
If they had both done the correct thing, there would have beeen no accident, no damage , no injuries- therefore both should be banned for a short period and put on a drivers awareness course
Tailgated-Whose fault is this? - Dynamic Dave
why didn't MR BMW, use the overtaking lane.


Because it was an A road, not a motorway.
Tailgated-Whose fault is this? - DavidHM
But in that case, how come there was a middle (rather than right-hand) lane at all?

Personally I'd say that the majority of the blame lies with the BMW driver but the Vectra driver, in deliberately creating a more dangerous situation than needed to exist, is arguably guilty of an offence of dangerous driving, almost certainly of careless driving.
Tailgated-Whose fault is this? - wotspur
"because it's an "A" road and not a motorway"

What's the relevance of that staement in this scenario, the A3, is an A road, but from Richmond Park to Guildford the majority of the road is 3 lanes, as is much of the A4.
Are you trying to say most "A" roads are dual carriage ways.
In this case stated how could the driver be in the middle lane
Tailgated-Whose fault is this? - Dynamic Dave
What's the relevance of that staement in this scenario,
In this case stated how could the driver be in the middle lane


Good point. Perhaps the OP could clarify?
Are you trying to say most "A" roads are dual carriage ways.


No, they can also be single carriage ways, but I can't recall ever seeing a 3 lane A road.
Tailgated-Whose fault is this? - JohnX
Good point there bedfordrl!
My initial posting should have read-Spoke to mother of 18 year old who was etc etc etc and so this is purely a one sided story,dont know what the BMW drivers account is.Meaning I wasnt a witness to the accident which is unintentionally how the post reads!

There has been a variety of responses to this situation, but as i see it,once anyone collides with the car in front it is the car behind that is to blame.

I had an accident which wrote off my trusty Almera 8 months back in which I bumped into the car in front.

On contacting my insurance company and explaining what happened i.e mentioned that I hit the car in front-As soon as I mention this the next sentence that is mentioned is-"If you collided with the car in front then Im afraid its your fault!"

I think this is how the plod will look at this accident above,but am open to other opinions!
Tailgated-Whose fault is this? - Stuartli
>>once anyone collides with the car in front it is the car behind that is to blame.>>

Not the car that's to blame, only the driver....:-)
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What\'s for you won\'t pass you by
Tailgated-Whose fault is this? - paulb {P}
Can someone please explain to me why deliberately provoking an accident (and getting your own car damaged in the process, too) teaches the other driver any lesson other than that you are a complete p****** who can't control their temper? ("You" used here in the general sense, btw.)

Rear end shunts do far more damage than many of these people seem to think - the Stilo I had a few years back was never quite the same afterwards.

Why could she not have just got out of the BMW's way and let him be someone else's problem?

The fair result here would be matching prosecutions for dangerous driving, as someone said further up. Oh, and the insurers refusing to pay up on the grounds that the damage was caused deliberately.



Tailgated-Whose fault is this? - paulb {P}
complete p****** who can't control their temper?


What's wrong with the word meaning idiot that that has a "p" at the beginning, "ill" in the middle and "ock" at the end, O swear filter?
Tailgated-Whose fault is this? - mss1tw
Everytime an uh-oh appears here, god kills a kitten.

Think about what you just did.


Murderer.

>:-(
Tailgated-Whose fault is this? - paulb {P}
Nooooo, not the kittens! Spare us!
Tailgated-Whose fault is this? - SpamCan61 {P}
>>Everytime an uh-oh appears here, god kills a kitten.


GOOD: I never did like those 4 wheel Reliants ;-))

www.reliantkitten.co.uk/
Tailgated-Whose fault is this? - Dynamic Dave
What's wrong with the word meaning idiot


Because someone once was using it in nearly every sentence they wrote.

DD.
Tailgated-Whose fault is this? - paulb {P}
>> What's wrong with the word meaning idiot
Because someone once was using it in nearly every sentence they
wrote.
DD.


Ah, didn't realise - sorry. Thanks Dave!
Tailgated-Whose fault is this? - omeganoway
Tailgated-Whose fault is this? - Cymrogwyllt
The police tend to take a simplistic view. 'Be able to stop on your own side of the road in the distance you can see to be clear'. Amen. In the absence of bellievable witnesses to the contrary tough.
Tailgated-Whose fault is this? - NowWheels
The police tend to take a simplistic view. 'Be able
to stop on your own side of the road in the
distance you can see to be clear'. Amen. In
the absence of bellievable witnesses to the contrary tough.


It's not a bad approach.

I do have sympathy for those caught in sudden-lane-change-and-then-brake scenario, but none for the tailgaters.

Tailgaters are either idiots who don't understand safety, or bullies who try to intimdate other drivers out of the way. Either way, it seems fair enough that they should pay the bills when they end up in accident which they could easly have avoided: they had the option of following at a safe distance, if they wanted to.

It's very hard to know what to do with a tailgater. Let 'em past if possible is the best idea, but it's not always possible. If I can't let them past, own solution is to slow right down, and eventually stop ? then get out and, smiling as nicely as I can, explain that if they want to follow ten feet behind, I'll drive at a speed where that is a safe stopping distance ? but that I'd prefer us both to travel faster, and that they remain free to overtake if and when it's safe to do so. It usually works.
Tailgated-Whose fault is this? - David Horn
Have no sympathy for tailgaters who run into the back of another car, legitimate excuse for braking or not.

Used to be a fan of the quick-stamp-on-the-anchors approach, but stopped after I nearly caused a multi-car pileup after someone misjudged how hard I was braking and nearly lost control of his car, fishtailing down the motorway.
Tailgated-Whose fault is this? - JohnX
That would have taught him a leson which he wouldnt have forgotten in a hurry though i.e never to tailgate another car!

But getting back to the original post,I have no sympathy for the BMW driver and it looks as though he would be spending the next year getting calls from his solicitor re atleast the ?2 whiplash injuries/compensation suffered by both mother and 18 year old daughter!
Tailgated-Whose fault is this? - Lud
. If I can't let them past,
own solution is to slow right down, and eventually stop ?
then get out and, smiling as nicely as I can, explain
that if they want to follow ten feet behind, I'll drive
at a speed where that is a safe stopping distance
? but that I'd prefer us both to travel faster, and
that they remain free to overtake if and when it's safe
to do so.


Watch out NW. Nice smiles don't always work. There are some bad and stupid people around.
Tailgated-Whose fault is this? - Manatee
In reply to NW:

You must have a very fetching smile if you have got away with this more than once.

My quite serious advice FWIW would be never, ever get out of the car to give anybody else advice about their driving - especially if they have already demonstrated agression or lack of consideration. Stop as if that's what you intended and let them past, or just pull over and wave them by. The problem is, you just do not know who you are dealing with.

It's also 99.999% certain that even at best they will not thank you for showing them the path of righteousness.
Tailgated-Whose fault is this? - Manatee
Apologies - I have inadvertently got on Lud's bandwagon.
Tailgated-Whose fault is this? - BazzaBear {P}
The tailgater is a common or garden idiot, such as is seen every ten minutes or so on the roads. The woman who slammed her brakes on is a psychopath.
Tailgated-Whose fault is this? - NowWheels
The tailgater is a common or garden idiot, such as is seen every ten minutes or so on the roads.
The woman who slammed her brakes on is a psychopath.


Maybe. Or she may just be someone who is scared, and fed up with being bullied, and isn't coming with any good ideas about what to do with that particular bully, so ends up choosing a really bad idea.

Tailgating isn't just idiocy, it's also intimidation. Fear causes people to react in strange and extreme ways, some of which may be unwise, or (as with standing on the brakes), downright dangerous.
Tailgated-Whose fault is this? - BazzaBear {P}
>> The woman who slammed her brakes on is a psychopath.
Maybe. Or she may just be someone who is scared,
and fed up with being bullied, and isn't coming with any
good ideas about what to do with that particular bully, so
ends up choosing a really bad idea.


Easy excuse to make. Would you accept a similar excuse for someone who 'chose a really bad idea' and got out of their car to beat someone up?
In either case the person has decided to attack someone, the woman in question just used a bigger weapon for it.
To go down a different route:
"A person with an antisocial personality disorder, manifested in aggressive, perverted, criminal, or amoral behavior without empathy or remorse." is the dictionary definition of psychopath. I would say that being able to lose control of your actions enough to deliberately cause a car crash is quite an antisocial disorder, it was certainly aggressive, and the OPs description of her approach afterwards (believing it was the other persons fault) doesn't suggest remorse.

And yes, I know the 'personality disorder' bit is stretching it slightly, would it be more acceptable to say that it was definitely psychopathic behaviour?
Tailgated-Whose fault is this? - NowWheels
In reply to NW:
You must have a very fetching smile if you have got away with this more than once.


Of course I do! ;)
My quite serious advice FWIW would be never, ever get out
of the car to give anybody else advice about their driving
- especially if they have already demonstrated agression or lack of
consideration. Stop as if that's what you intended and let
them past, or just pull over and wave them by.
The problem is, you just do not know who you are
dealing with.


Yes, there's a risk ... but there's a risk the other way too. My rule is that I wouldn't do it if I am alone, or if it is dark, or if there aren't other vehicles around.

Thanks, though, to you and Lud for the warning. Good sense there :)
Tailgated-Whose fault is this? - Big Bad Dave
I cover the brake just enough to keep the brake lights on - that?s usually enough to make them nervous and back off. I will hit the brake (not too hard) if they are being particularly aggressive. I know it?s not sensible but I have a certain "flash point" above which sensible doesn?t come into it. I?ve even done the brake hard - hit gas - brake hard - hit gas - brake hard - hit gas while all the time swerving from side to side so he can?t pass and if he?s driving a manual he won?t be able to change gear fast enough anyway.

Doesn?t bother me so much these days, tailgating is a way of life across Europe it?s nothing personal. And if I?m driving on the cruise they don?t bother me at all for some reason. Once you?ve handed over control to the computer, you relinquish 90% of the stress too.

They play a silly game anyway, in the two accidents when I?ve been hit hard in the rear (not while brake-testing) I?ve exchanged details and driven off while they?ve been left to pick up the pieces of their radiator and lamps and wait for a rescue truck.
Tailgated-Whose fault is this? - mss1tw
Very true - when I rear ended a little 205 in my old mk5 Fiesta, my car was a mess and his was driveable. A write off, but driveable.
Tailgated-Whose fault is this? - Aprilia
I must say that I'm very surprised at some of the posts on this thread - the idea of braking would never occur to me and I'm surprised how many people **would** do it. I would never uneccessarily hit the brakes if there was a tailgating driver behind. Innocent people could get hurt - including children etc in his car (he may need 'teaching a lesson' but his passengers are innocent in my view). Its also possible that when he has to hit the brakes hard (allowing for reaction time) he may lose control and you'll end up with a pile up behind you.

I must confess that the mentality of tailgaters does baffle me however. Yesterday I pulled off the M1 onto the A50 heading toward the Toyota factory at about 10am. I was passing a string of lorries with about 6-7 cars in front of me - all of us doing about 70mph on this 2-lane section. Guy in a new black Audi estate comes racing up behind me with his lights on (a lovely sunny day too) and sits about 6" from my back bumper. What does he expect me to do? Can't move to left (nose-to-tail trucks), can't go any faster (row of cars in front). I just ignore him and wait till I'm past the trucks and then pull over. Let him get on with it.
Tailgated-Whose fault is this? - Xileno {P}
When I have one of these idiots behind I ease off slightly (which has a similar but safer effect as braking to the motorist behind) and in the process increase the distance between my car and the one in front. In the event of having to brake quickly, at least I will have more stopping distance and the cretin behind won't push me forward into the car in front.
Tailgated-Whose fault is this? - Group B
I would never uneccessarily hit the brakes if there
was a tailgating driver behind.


I agree entirely. I really dont understand the logic that goes, "I consider the car behind me to be dangerously close; I will therefore brake to get them closer still." Depending on the conditions and the speed I'm going, I either speed up (if I am comfortable to do so), or ignore them. If there is more than one lane on the road, I get over and let them past if it is convenient. I dont like it if someone drives within feet of my bumper, but think braking is the worst thing you can do.
I wonder if the people who advocate braking have been in many car crashes? I've been in quite a few, and personally think they can be pretty unpleasant (an understatement, depending on the severity) and best avoided, not deliberately attempted!
You dont know anything about the person in the car behind you, how do you know that braking is not going to antagonise them into doing something more stupid and more dangerous?
Tailgated-Whose fault is this? - stunorthants
I was told by a traffic cop I know that officially, if you are being tailgated, you are supposed to slow down steadily to account for the reduced stopping distance until the distance between you and the tailgater is the usual 2 seconds.
Obviously if they are 4 inches from your bumper you will come to a halt, but the theory is that if you slow down enough, in most cases the tailgater will overtake you and situation is over.

I get hassled in my van because I do 50mph on single carriage roads, as per the legal limits for my van, but it doesnt stop people crawling all over the back of my van as if its my fault I have a different limit to a car. All i do is coast down to 40mph in the hope that it makes it easier for them to pass me and with any hope, end up in a ditch somewhere ( ive seen this happen before - you make your bed, ya lie in it ).
Tailgated-Whose fault is this? - chairmanmatt
I didn't realise Super Carry vans had to fall into the same speed category of vans like transits. When I was in my teens I owned a 87 Carry van. It was smaller than most MPV's , so just drove at the speed other cars did. Saying that it only did 70 mph downhill with the pedal to the floor!
Tailgated-Whose fault is this? - L'escargot
Rich 9-3, I think you've hit the nail on the head.
--
L\'escargot.
Tailgated-Whose fault is this? - NowWheels
I cover the brake just enough to keep the brake lights on - that?s usually enough to make them
nervous and back off. I will hit the brake (not too hard) if they are being particularly aggressive.
I know it?s not sensible but I have a certain "flash point" above which sensible doesn?t come into it.


BBD, I know what you mean about the "flash point". I try to work on my own reactions, because that rage is both counter-productive and dangerous for all concerned, and although I don't claim to be anywhere near as successful as I'd like, I do know that keeping cool is something I can do to improve my own safety. I can't stop an idiot being an idiot, but I should be able to choose how I respond.

But I have a lot of sympathy for those who panic when being tailgated, and end up doing something stupid.
 

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