Defensive Driving Online, And the Definition of Tailgating
Tailgating, in terms of defensive driving online, has become universally known for following too closely to the vehicle in front. The words etymology, however, actually derives from 1868; long before cars or paved roads even existed. Also sharing meaning with today’s trucks, the word tailgate was used to describe a hinged panel capable of swinging on the rear of a wagon. In 1951 the terminology of tailgating made an evolutionary leap to define to current home in road safety vernacular.
The Texas Transportation Code (Sec. 545.062 – FOLLOWING DISTANCE) offers the broad, somewhat nebulous, definition of “tailgating” as for online defensive driving purposes:
“An operator shall, if following another vehicle, maintain an assured clear distance between the two vehicles so that, considering the speed of the vehicles, traffic, and the conditions of the highway, the operator can safely stop without colliding with the preceding vehicle or veering into another vehicle, object, or person on or near the highway.” (http://www.statutes.legis.state.tx.us/docs/TN/htm/TN.545.htm#545.352)
While clearer definitions, that include specific following distances based on speeds driven, have been proposed to the Department of Safety and Transportation, none have been adopted by the state of Texas. Instead, enforcement is left to the individual patrol officer and often subjective.
While receiving a traffic ticket for following too close is less common than other driver safety infraction (making up less than 1 percent of citations in Texas), they do happen. Because of the subjective nature these citations, ‘tailgating’ tickets are often more difficult to have dismissed from a driver’s record.
What Is Defensive Driving Online?
Defensive driving online courses offer drivers a way to dismiss traffic tickets from their record. Left on your driving record, citations can increase your insurance rates. Using online defensive driving programs to keep tickets from appearing on your record is only available for a short window after you receive your ticket – usually 60 days.
Unless cited in a school or work zone, or involving other circumstances (such as driving while intoxicated, or driving recklessly) tickets for simple tailgating can often be dismissed by attending (and passing) an online defensive driving course. Online, state-approved, and only $25 in the state of Texas, Defensive Driving Online For Dummies offers drivers a convenient and secure option for keeping unwanted tickets off their record. Traffic infractions left on a drivers record can increase their insurance premiums as much as 20%, per year.
To see if you qualify to dismiss your citation through our online traffic school and driver safety classes, call 1-800-875-4409 or click here to get started and put that Texas traffic ticket behind you.
Defensive Driving Tools For Tailgating
A popular tool taught by defensive driving online programs to ensure a driver has sufficient distance between their vehicle and the one in front is known as the two-second (or three-second) rule. This exercise has the rear driver mark the preceding vehicle’s location as it passes a stationary marker (a parked car, a tree, and so on) on the road. From there, the rear driver counts slowly to two (or three). If the driver does not reach the end of the count before his vehicle reaches the same physical marker, he’s considered too close and should add more distance between their vehicles.
For more information on taking defensive driving online to dismiss a Texas ticket, please visit our Texas Defensive Driving Online page.