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Passive versus aggressive tailgaters

No matter why someone tailgates you on the road, it's dangerous. They can cause an accident that could have easily been avoided. Say you have to slam on your brakes when the light turns red or when a deer runs into the road. All of a sudden, that unexpected event turns into a serious accident that puts you in the hospital as the car behind you plows into the back of your vehicle.

That said, there are very different types of tailgaters. Understanding why tailgating happens means you need to know what type you're dealing with.

First of all, you have the passive tailgater. This person is not angry or in a hurry. They don't want to pass you. They don't want you to speed up. In all honesty, they probably don't know that they're tailgating.

Passive tailgaters may be young or inexperienced, or they may just be lost in thought. For whatever reason, they don't understand how risky their style of driving is, and they just hang out right by your back bumper for no reason.

Secondly, you have the aggressive tailgater. This person probably does want to pass. They think you're going too slow or they think you cut them off, and they're tailgating you out of anger or to get you to change the way you drive.

Both types are dangerous, but this second type is more dangerous than the first. If you're not careful, you could even find yourself in a road-rage altercation. It's best to allow this person to pass as soon as you get the chance.

What if you can't avoid a crash? That's when you need to look into your legal rights to financial compensation.

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