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Proposed split[edit]

This page needs to be broken up into an article about sports tailgating, tailgating (driving), tailgating (inside information), etc... there shouldn't be multiple articles on the same page. AStudent 14:27, 30 May 2006 (UTC)

Everything but the part about tailgate parties seems more appropriate for Wiktionary than for Wikipedia. The driving practice might be encyclopedic if there were, say, statistics on car accidents involving tailgating, for instance. Otherwise, it’s nothing more than a wordy definition. The finance-related sense of the word might deserve a mention in the front running article, but the sense of sneaking into a restricted area doesn’t belong here at all. --Rob Kennedy 02:00, 10 August 2006 (UTC)

Since this article really isn’t a disambiguation page, I propose splitting the driving-related portion of this article into Tailgating (driving) and then moving the “Other uses” portion onto the Tailgating (disambiguation) page. The party-related content will remain on this Tailgating page because most of the pages that link here do so with that as the subject (either through a direct link or through a redirect from Tailgate party). This article would be changed to include the {{Two other uses}} template at the top to direct visitors to the driving and disambiguation pages.

I would prefer to do as I hinted at in my August 10 comment above, which is to remove the “Other uses” topics entirely as being non-notable, and summarize the driving-related content at Wiktionary, leaving the party-related subject as the only tailgating article on Wikipedia. I suspect there will be more objections to that course of action, though. --Rob Kennedy 16:54, 25 August 2006 (UTC)

Seems to make sense to split. Tailgate party and Tailgating (driving) are obviously different topics and don't really have anything in common. The others uses section looks more like Wiktionary material. Being in the UK then the most common use by far of tailgating would be the driving so I guess most UK users would expect the Tailgating article to refer to driving rather than party. For this reason it might be better to make Tailgating itself a disambiguation article - it would then refer to the two main uses and could list the other uses as well. --MarkS (talk) 17:19, 6 September 2006 (UTC)
  • I agree with MarkS. Split the pages, but leave Tailgating itself a disambig page. Quaerere 14:34, 9 September 2006 (UTC)

Based on comments and a closer look at “what links here,” I opted to keep Tailgating as a page about the driving habit. It occured to me that we already have a perfectly good article title at Tailgate party, so I moved the party-related stuff there. I removed the security-related paragraphs since they really just stem from the idea of following closely behind someone. Two tasks remain: Find a place for the finance-related description, and fix any links that come here expecting a party topic. --Rob Kennedy 05:12, 22 September 2006 (UTC)

I propose to expand the main article a bit to include tailgating on freeway, in metro area on multilaned roads, some insight into tailgater's mind, and tailgating culture. Briefly the mechanics or consequenes of tailgating which leads to crashes. Some scenarions of subjective calculating if I can stop in time. I mean to mention the elements of stopping like: do I pay allways attention, how much time do I have to reassess the situation when I've just checked rear mirror, traffic lights, anything on side of the road, when car in front of me have exceptional breaks or heavy foot when breaking, that there is some sand or gravel on the road and so on. Can I trust myself? There is a need to add the element of tolerance for any mistakes or unforeseable events even blinding sun or sound. It is worth to mention that very often (tried many times) tailgaters arrive to destination behind drivers who do not tailgate. One of the explanation is that tailgaters tend to fix their mind to "autopilot" to observe only the red stop light in front. They miss an opportunity to change lane and continue to drive faster if legal and without tailgating. driving on autopilot is very stressful. In the article should be included that there are countless good reasons why car in front may drive slower. Lack of street names or building numbers as is in Adelaide, and many other reasons. This does not entitle any other driver to tailgate or misbehave. Even the slowness of car in front due to poor training is not an excuse to tailgate. The chapter on excuses should also be inserted.

Also I am editing my article, a private research on tailgating. First in Australia and perhaps unique in the world. A study of the previlence of tailgating. This is just the beginning where I intend to show a preliminary data and to encourage others to continue and to improve my method. I've done it to see if tailgaters comprise of 0.5% or 50% of all drivers. This will enable analysts and decision makers to make rational decions to improve safety. Should I incorporate my a few pages article into main article or make it separately or how? There I do have a raw data, statistics of it, and opinions of mine along with encouragement and wishes. —Preceding unsigned comment added by Mmistrz (talkcontribs) 01:04, 2 April 2009 (UTC)

Do it...[edit]

Makes sense to me. And I'm ready to expand the tailgating article to include, perhaps, the following subsections: College tailgating... NFL tailgating... Tailgating resources... History of tailgating... Famous tailgate parties...

It seems to me that an advise what not to do like pressing break or hazard lights may cause collision, need to be discussed more and made clear. At first I got impression that the victim to whom the advise is directed is shown in bad light, as the one who cause the danger. It should be made clear that tailgater or the one closely behind you is always (I mean always) wrong. Second issue is you the safe driver do right if you want to avoid tailgating and giving signal to driver behind you may or may not be effective. Slowing down very slowly, or even tapping break pedal may or may not be well understood by tailgater. Perhaps if the author of this advise reword the advise that tailgater who is already in wrong, who demonstrate poor understanding of safe and unsafe behavior is likely not understand the message of break lights and may cause crash or tense situation. My idea is that the tailgater is likely to cause the problem not the victim. So when victim is aware and be cautious. I do not want to send the message to innocent driver that it will be his fault, but that tailgater may not react in normal or expected way.

Also as road safety campaigner I've noticed that it would be good to make it clear that it can be improved. For instance here in Adelaide, the building numbering and street names are very and very poor. It is hard or impossible to find the place at known address. This is very justifiable reason for slow driving. Authorities can but refuse to rectify this problem. But it is not an excuse to tailgate. Very important is the fact that very old and incapable drivers are legally allowed to drive. On one hand they not suppose to keep license and on the other it is not an excuse to tailgate. Third and perhaps the most important problem is that in SA, drivers do not have adequate training, so they have no ability to drive safely and smoothly. Often tailgaters and speeding drivers arrive to destination behind the good driver who never speed nor tailgate. This is attributed to undertraining. In general, the solution is not in turning against one another in anger and oftent creating danger, but in demanding government to correct the problems. (talk) 02:56, 4 May 2009 (UTC)

I propose to discuss and perhaps include the first ever tailgating research [1]

According to rules facts are permitted and that the issue must be first published. Ok I am the author of the research and above webpage. Perhaps I should be excluded from introducing it into wikipedia. But I only propose to you, the contributors to read, consider and than decide if to include it or not. The argument pro is that it is the only research. It is easily verifiable and the related issues are that I encourage school children and anybody to expand my method and develop better. All to serve a safer society. I had a bit of problem to publish the spreadsheet, if necessary I may email if requested. I can also explain whatever is required. I do not intend to push into the subject the political aspect, I prefer that publish show an interest and governments will have to act. The research is not designed to aim for highest possible level in accuracy but to provide any useful real life data and it achieved well. The final results are what public should be interested in and also my conclusion which unfortunately is not backed by number (but can be by other contributors) that tailgating rate is between 55% and close to 100%. The higher proportion is easy to observe in very busy areas and at busy time for instance when people go home from work. In political aspect, interesting is fact that police, transport department, universities and colleges, consume large sums of money and produce no results at all. They are not interested in fact finding. My subjective observation is that women, particularly younger are very persistent tailgaters and outnumber man. It can be verified by school project or individuals. (talk) 06:22, 21 November 2009 (UTC)


I have problem to accept whole article in current form and shape. But the section "Causes" seems to be in need to change. Existing 3 causes do not appeal to me as causes. They are more like results or form or practice. - unintentional because not perceived as risk. Q. Do drivers tailgate who know why or because they do it and are not aware just because they are not trained adequately? I do observe driving and analyze for years and know it is due to absolutely very poor (almost no) driver training. I propose to reinstate my proposal poor driver training as a main cause of tailgating. - violent and deliberate road rage. Q. Is it a sole cause of tailgating or a result of police not prosecuting effectively such dangerous and deliberate behavior? Again, I propose to reinstate my earlier edition stating that poor policing along with extremely poor driver training are two major causes of tailgating. (in my assessment, if the proper driver training and proper policing was introduced, the tailgating would drop by perhaps more than 80% Here I suggest to look at the very first real life research on tailgating. The real figures (facts) are overwhelming. Tailgating is a norm and in figures it is depending on a road and time of the day, it's prevalence is from about 55% to close to a 100%. I fail to conclude that such dangerous behavior is due to aggressiveness of drivers matching the given percentages. Yes, people are mainly not aware rather than doing it deliberately but it is a result the two ; poor training and no policing. - I also have problem to accept that sleep-streaming is a cause of tailgating as epidemic or dangerous behavior. Cyclists on major events do it but my experience in this field does not indicate that this is an issue at all. I may be very rare and also relate to poor driver training. I am not sure if this as a cause should remain or be removed. People do not tailgate to save fuel, they tailgate as they want to drive faster or simply do not think a result of poor education.

I really suggest to read the proposed research (someone for no reason turned it down) and see the analysis. Or to produce own research to prove that this original is correct. Mmistrz (talk) 21:47, 21 July 2014 (UTC)

Cycling Tailgating[edit]

If this is solely refering to unpowered cycling, that should be split off into it's own article as well. Jon 17:38, 1 June 2007 (UTC) It may be good idea to split but also it is absolutely necessary to include in main article that tailgating is extremely dangerous to cyclists. If nobody does it well, I may in the near future. In all articles on the subject it should be made clear that tailgating is dangerous weather intentional or not. Perhaps it is a good opportunity to mention that from environment point of view, the tailgating is on opposite scale to cycling. Cycling conserves environment but tailgating increases comparing to non tailgating cars in metro areas. This is because tailgaters must and do use breaks much more frequently and accelerate more often than non tailgating drivers which have more time and space to adjust speed and/or to make another manouver like lane changing. Therefore cyclists must not be looked at as a road nuisance.


The tone of the introduction suggests that most tailgating is caused by lead vehicles moving unreasonably slow. It also suggests that it is the legal responsibility of the lead vehicle to pull over when being tailgated. In my experience, most tailgating is caused by mindless, agressive driving, occuring well in excess of the speed limit, and is usually completely unproductive (such as tailgating when stuck behind dozens of vehicles).

The introduction appears to have been written by an agressive driver, with another writer trying to balance his words. It is like reading something written by someone with multiple personality dissorder. I think the indroduction should be re-written with more balance in mind. -- 23:47, 27 September 2007 (UTC)

Unconscious Versus Subconscious[edit]

Such expressions of impatience may be conscious, subconscious, and/or dangerous.

An earlier version of this sentence used unconscious rather than subconscious. It seems to me that the original choice was better. According to Webster, subconscious means, "existing in the mind but not immediately available to consciousness." So the motivation for an expression of impatience could be subconscious, but it's hard to see how the expression itself could be. Unconscious, in this context, means, "free from self-awareness." That seems to more closely describe what I think the sentence means. I think we should switch back to unconscious.

There's also a parallelism problem with the sentence. Clearly, the "expressions of impatience" can't be "conscious, unconscious, and dangerous," since that implies that they're simultaneously conscious and unconscious. But we probably also don't mean to say that they are, "conscious, unconscious, or dangerous," since that implies that they're dangerous only when neither conscious nor unconscious.

So, I propose that the sentence be re-written as: "Such expressions of impatience may be conscious or unconscious, and also dangerous."

--Tedd (talk) 14:51, 15 August 2008 (UTC)

I see that has reverted "unconscious" to "subconscious." I've provided an argument in favour of "unconscious." Could the person at, or someone else, please provide an argument in favour of "subconscious?" --Tedd (talk) 02:43, 21 August 2008 (UTC)
No counter-argument provided for a month, so I have reverted "subconscious" to "unconscious." I've also implemented my suggested sentence restructuring from above.--Tedd (talk) 15:27, 20 September 2008 (UTC)

I've studied neurology basics, and it is difficult for me to decide which one, perhaps it is micture of both, un and sub consciousness. Let me point to the typical as I think mode of tailgaters (I only guess because I am not one) so called "autopilot" when one switch off and focus only on the stop light of the car in front. This can be observed in cases when locked on to the tailgating mode, all other lanes are free to move and drive faster even within limit and surely free of obstacle of slower cars in front, but those drivers on autopilot persist and do not notice of the opportunity to change lane. Often they do tailgate for a long distance without changing lane which is free for some time and only when you decide to do so or come from behind, they come suddenly in front of you. This is partially subconscious. Our peripheral vision is sensitive to movement, their brain register this, they immediately notice that the object they notices (you) moves on or into free lane, they make immediately reactive rather than fully conscious and rational decision and they move dangerously in front of you. I believe that if they drove not on autopilot, they would long before you decided and changed lane. I believe that such sub/un conscious behavior is a result of poor driver training. Proper training enable much better and counsious decisions and faster. —Preceding unsigned comment added by Mmistrz (talkcontribs) 01:24, 2 April 2009 (UTC)

This article should be informative to the reader. I tried to read it as is now where it makes not much sense to me when the reason of taligating is given as "most drivers are not aware or are unconscious or similar description". Therefore I edited adding my five cents which basically states that poor drivers education is a principle contributor to tailgating. This alone or in conjunction with the reason given earlier and left in current version would make much more sense to reader. My version was deleted and I have no idea why? (maybe someone can refer me how to refresh basics in editing, please). Let me paraphrase the issues. At present the reader may get perception that the drivers are well trained but for some unknown reason they are not aware that they do tailgate (do wrong). As a long term road safety campaigner I know it well, I've observed and analyzed. They may well be and likely are not aware, just because they are not trained and then because police does not stop tailgators nor fines them. I believe, my statement and opinion should be sufficient enough, but I do not wish to propose the current one be erased just because I want to fill important. Nevertheless, facts are (still my opinion but not only) that the drivers education is far and far inadequate in Australia and this contributes to all sorts of dangerous driving including tailgating. It is a saying that even monkey can be trained. Proving is not the easiest in this field. Perhaps I may challenge anyone on this issue: prove that drivers training is adequate. (not really possible). Also prove that driver training in Australia teaches all drivers sufficiently the issue of tailgating. So it remains in the sphere of opinions. Analysis of drivers and in particular lady drivers lately, indicate to me that they do not tailgate extremely persistently because ladies are inherently most aggressive species, but because they are not trained adequately. Accepting fact that under training is the principal cause, the next statement that drivers may not be aware that they are tailgating is secondary or even irrelevant. Training may solve most tailgating problems perhaps. Mmistrz (talk) 08:11, 21 July 2014 (UTC)

Gender Neutrality[edit]

The Chicago manual of style recommends that, "...he or she is preferable to he/she, s/he, (s)he, and the like."[2] I will change the "s/he" to "she or he." --Tedd (talk) 02:58, 21 August 2008 (UTC)

After trying "she or he" I decided that it didn't read as well as "he or she." Just customary usage, I guess. So I went with "he or she." --Tedd (talk) 03:03, 21 August 2008 (UTC)

unintentional due to traffic?[edit]

Should some mention be made of people unintentionally tailgating due to a high volume of traffic on a road? --Dandelions (talk) 12:03, 1 April 2009 (UTC)

Tailgating consequences[edit]

I propose to add simple issue that tailgating always produce more problems than solves. Causing crash while tailgating, can be argued that you have chosen to crash. You have created dangerous situation. It was not an accident because the outcome was predictable therefore it was planned crash. —Preceding unsigned comment added by Mmistrz (talkcontribs) 01:31, 2 April 2009 (UTC)

Tailgating consequences[edit]

I propose to add simple issue that tailgating always produce more problems than solves. Causing crash while tailgating, can be argued that you have chosen to crash. You have created dangerous situation. It was not an accident because the outcome was predictable therefore it was planned crash.Mmistrz (talk) 01:37, 2 April 2009 (UTC)

The person in front should have sped up--that's the whole point of tailgating —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 05:13, 22 May 2009 (UTC)

road safety campaigner's view[edit]

Upon reading the article it is basically good, satisfy my in large part though I have not really took much time to digest every sentence.

What is lacking is simple statement that usually tailgating involves speeding as well, not just a mere following too close. (unless is there and I missed).

Second thing worth to include is the prevailance of tailgating. I've done my private research on the subject and know. In brief it is from 55% to near 100% (still have not managed to publish it). Yes it is important that it become a common knowledge that tailgating is not rare event that an odd driver does it, most of us do.

Third thing worth to mention is simple comparison of tailgating to speeding. Well known slogan "speed kills" is simply not true (it is justification of revenue raising). Speeding is one of many factors of danger. Tailgating is however already multiple factor behaviour including speeding. So tailgating is much more dangerous than plain speeding early morning no cars on the road, perfect visibility etc.

Fourth idea worth to include is trauma caused by tailgating. First, tailgator is on high adrenaline or tense. This behaviour is passed on tailgated and everyone around just by the very fact of tailgating. Tailgating also introduce lots of smaller and bigger local dangerous events. In essence, everyone around and including tailgator are stressed. Tailgator typically is focussed just on stop lights of it's victim and one is unable (fixed focus and stress) to observe general traffic situation. One misses number of opportunities to change lane and move slightly faster than one in front. In effect often tailgator is speeding, creating lots of danger and drama and arrive to the destination later than alternative driver which never tailgate nor speed.

Perhaps it is worth to mention that some of the reasons of slower driving are: poor driver training, old age, very poor street and building numbering and other. None give an excuse to tailgate.

Itis also important to mention that rule is right but authorities should also apply tolerance. My proposition is half the prescribed distance (1s), and even pointed to authorities that they neglect not half but 1/10th of the prescribed distance. Having clear rules and also reasonable tolerance, society should accept it.

It is worth to read my blog as shown above and perhaps include in reference. The point is that government is not necessarily very much interested in improving safety. Because I am the author, it is prudent if someone else use my work and quote. Or I can if asked.

Some of my friends believe that tailgating is necessary otherwise stream of cars in peek would be too long in Metro area. It's not true and there are solutions to it.

Most drivers react natually to slowing down when they come closer to me. No heavy breaking but proportional to distance. They intuitively increase the distance and happily follow me and not change lane if vacant (may realise that my speed is close to limit when they keep distance). They seem to like it. Very few get angry.

Mmistrz (talk) 13:25, 15 June 2009 (UTC)

Use of Vehicle Lengths as a Guide[edit]

The article explains the two second rule as, basically, keeping the distance between the front of your vehicle, and the rear of the one you're following, to at least the distance that you travel in 2 seconds. This makes perfect sense. However, it then goes on to say that this equates to one vehicle length for each 5mph / 8kmph of speed. This latter statement is complete nonsense. The reason I say this is because the distance travelled in 2 seconds is dependent only on speed and has nothing whatsoever to do with vehicle length. For example, if you are driving at 60mph, then that equates to 88 feet/second, so in 2 seconds you travel 176 feet, and that is true irrespective of whether you are driving a short car or a long lorry. The bit about vehicle lengths should therefore be deleted. Snookerrobot (talk) 20:40, 8 August 2009 (UTC)

Makes no sense to me[edit]

"Tailgating ... is done ... very often by people who consider themselves safe drivers and generally obey the other rules of the road" - is there any study which shows that? And how would you know (and why should we care) what the tailgaters think of themselves? Personally, I have met many drivers who disregard many rules of the road and yet consider themselves safe drivers (because they know better than the law). And as previously mentioned on this talk page, tailgaters are frequently speeders.

Relevant Wikipedia guidelines: Wikipedia:Verifiability, Wikipedia:No_original_research.

AmirOnWiki (talk) 20:29, 22 October 2011 (UTC)

Most rear-end crashes in Australia?[edit]

Doesn't the sentence "Tailgating causes most rear-end crashes in South Australia" sort of imply that tailgating also occurs mainly in Australia? I think that this sentence should be edited to make it neutral. Moaz786 (talk) 22:55, 6 November 2013 (UTC)


If all drivers would slow down to a speed which would make sure they could stop before hitting the front car when that max. decelerates nobody would ever arrive anywhere. At least not in heavily populated areas. If you try to widen the gap it is immedially filled by somebody else. I just write that because there are some comments here which singularily blame the tailgating driver. The ruling makes it easy for law inforcement to define the guilty party, but it's not realistic to expect that everybody can keep as much distance as would be required in theory. I wonder if there's a country where the ruling is different in such a way that it better balances the requirements with reality. JB -- (talk) 04:08, 28 April 2014 (UTC)

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