While many drivers do not intentionally tailgate, this poor driving habit can be ingrained and become second nature. However, when someone is behind the handlebars of a motorcycle, tailgating becomes even more risky.
Tailgating increases the odds of a collision, especially if the driver in front has no choice but to hit their brakes suddenly. Any behavior that makes an accident more likely is dangerous, but tailgating is especially dangerous when it involves motorcycles.
When another driver tailgates behind a motorcycle
Motorcycles offer very little protection compared to fully-covered vehicles. For this reason, tailgating behind a bike is incredibly negligent and may intimidate the motorcyclist into other unsafe driving behaviors. The tailgating vehicle is also particularly likely to make contact with the bike, which is especially concerning when even a slight bump from a larger car can cause a motorcyclist to lose control.
When a motorcycle tailgates behind a larger vehicle
Motorcyclists are just as capable of being impatient and aggressive as anyone else. When a motorcycle follows too closely behind another vehicle, it goes without saying that the bike is liable to tap or crash into the other vehicle’s rear bumper. This is likely to do more damage to the motorcycle than the larger vehicle and may even result in the rider losing balance or launching from the saddle altogether.
Especially if a driver takes offense to a bike tailgating them and brake-checks or drives aggressively. Too often, motorcyclists get the brunt of someone’s road rage.
Motorcycle riders cannot control other drivers’ actions, which is why the National Safety Council recommends that motorcyclists exercise proper safety measures to the best of their abilities. Riders who are in an accident because of tailgating have the right to pursue legal action against the negligent party.