Tailgating, or following too closely in Florida, can result in fines, points against your license, increased insurance rates and having to take time off of work to go to court.
If you have been charged with tailgating or following too closely in Florida, contact an experienced West Palm Beach tailgating lawyer to discuss the charges against you.
A seasoned traffic attorney can review what legal defenses you may have at your disposal and find out whether it may be possible to have those charges dismissed or mitigated through aggressive representation.
How Does Florida Law Define Tailgating?
According to Florida Statute Sec. 316.0895, tailgating is simply referred to as following too closely which means:
- Following another vehicle more closely than is reasonable and prudent, without having due regard for the speed of such vehicles and the traffic on the highway, and/or
- Following within 300 feet of another motor truck, motor truck drawing another vehicle, or vehicle towing another vehicle or trailer when traveling on a roadway outside of a business or residence district
Understanding the Statute Regarding Tailgating
The statute also states that, except for funeral processions, motor vehicles driven on roads outside of a business or residence district in a caravan or motorcade (regardless of whether they are towing other vehicles) must allow sufficient space for other vehicles without creating danger or any dangerous situations.
The law uses the terms reasonably and prudently which are very broad and can be interpreted very differently depending on a law enforcement officer or Judge’s perspective. This is why it is important for individuals to work with a tailgating attorney in West Palm Beach that can handle these matters on their behalf.
How Close is Too Close When Driving?
According to the National Safety Council (NSC), using the three-second rule can give drivers the time they need to recognize a hazard, respond safely, and avoid rear-ending cars in from of them.
Following the rule is easy. When following another vehicle, simply pick a stationary object (a tree, a road sign, etc.) and notice when the vehicle passes that object. Count three seconds and judge the distance it takes to reach the same object. If it is not enough time, simply increase the following distance.
Although a very simplistic way of judging a distance, it works. However, the NSC cautions that drivers need to account for weather conditions which can affect visibility and overall driving conditions, construction zones, other vehicles such as trucks, buses, and those towing other vehicles or objects which may have a harder time stopping or maneuvering in traffic, and what other drivers’ behaviors such as texting while driving, driving while intoxicated or drug impaired, or any other behavior which might cause an accident.
Consequences of Tailgating
While tailgating or following too closely is a seemingly minor offense, it can have serious consequences when it results in a rear-end collision. In the majority of cases, the person who rear-ends the car or truck in front of them will be found at fault as following too closely did not allow enough time to brake and avoid the accident. One can also be charged with careless driving in this scenario. A skilled lawyer in West Palm Beach can help an individual fight the tailgating charge.
Speak with a West Palm Beach Tailgating Attorney Today
While being charged with Florida tailgating or following too closely does not seem like a serious offense, it can have serious consequences to your driving record as well as your insurance.
If you have been charged with tailgating or following too closely, it is important to find out whether those charges can be dismissed altogether or in the alternative, avoid any points on your record. Find out how an experienced West Palm Beach tailgating lawyer can help you. Reach out today to schedule your consultation.