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How Can Tailgating Lead to Serious Car Accidents in Tennessee?

Posted on in Personal Injury

Campbell County rear-end collision attorney

Tennessee has many rules of the road, which all drivers must learn before obtaining their driver’s license. However, not every motorist obeys all the traffic laws, and violations of these laws can lead to car accidents, which can cause serious bodily harm. Drivers should stay far enough behind the vehicle ahead of them that they will be able to stop in time to avoid colliding with that vehicle. In addition, Tennessee law states that drivers should not follow other vehicles "more closely than is reasonable and prudent." Not keeping this amount of distance is called “tailgating,” which can be charged as a Class C misdemeanor in Tennessee. Depending on the circumstances of the offense, tailgaters could face more charges if their actions cause a collision.

What Types of Injuries Can be Caused by Tailgating?

If a car follows another vehicle too closely, a driver risks hitting the car in front of him or her if that car slams on the brakes. The most common collision when a tailgater is involved is a rear-end collision. Even though this type of crash does not seem like it could seriously hurt a driver or his or her passengers, it can cause multiple types of injuries, such as:

  • Head and neck injuries

  • Whiplash

  • Brain damage

  • Broken bones

Depending on the speed the cars were traveling during the collision, even worse injuries could be sustained, including paralysis and traumatic brain injury (TBI). Victims of a rear-end collision can document their injuries, and they may be able to pursue compensation from the at-fault driver for damages such as medical bills and any damage to their vehicle.

Victims should take their car into a mechanic even if they believe there is nothing wrong with the vehicle. Sometimes, damage can go unnoticed until a professional looks at the car. Some forms of damage that might result from a rear-end collision include:

  • Undercarriage damage

  • Bumper damage

  • Backlight damage

  • Damage to the trunk, causing it to not open or close properly

  • Improper body alignment that can cause the car to steer incorrectly

How Is Tailgating Punished in Tennessee?

Tennessee punishes the act of tailgating as a Class C misdemeanor, which may result in a 30-day prison term and/or a $50 fine. However, tailgating may also be considered an act of reckless driving, because it puts other motorists in danger of harm. If a driver is charged with reckless driving, he or she faces a Class B misdemeanor, which can be punished with a prison term of up to 60 days and/or fines up to $500.

Contact a Jacksboro, TN Car Accident Lawyer

Victims of rear-end collisions should document all injuries and damages immediately following the crash. If you or someone you know was hurt in a vehicle crash, it is essential that you seek professional legal counsel. An experienced attorney from the Law Offices of William F. Evans can build a defense strategy for receiving the compensation you need and deserve for medical bills and vehicle repairs. To schedule a free consultation with our dedicated Campbell County personal injury attorneys, call our office today at 423-449-7980.

 

Sources:

https://advance.lexis.com/api/document/collection/statutes-legislation/id/4X8K-SXV0-R03K-72DV-00008-00?cite=Tenn.%20Code%20Ann.%20%C2%A7%2055-8-124&context=1000516

https://advance.lexis.com/api/document/collection/statutes-legislation/id/4X8K-TFT0-R03N-44DG-00008-00?cite=Tenn.%20Code%20Ann.%20%C2%A7%2055-10-205&context=1000516

https://www.gerbercollision.com/articles/what-to-look-out-for-following-a-rear-end-collision

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