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Tailgating in Singapore. Dangers and how to deal with them
Tailgating has to be one of the most frustrating and hazardous aspects of driving in Singapore.
What are the dangers?
A recent case in Singapore highlighted the real dangers of tailgating when a five year-old boy was left paralysed following a car accident. Offender Lai Kum Tai, 40, tailgated the car driven by the boy’s father.
Lai was driving at just a car’s length behind, travelling at 80kmh on the SLE when he smashed into the back of the family car. Lai was banned from driving for three years and fined $5,000. In sentencing, the judge said he hoped the tragic case would deter others from tailgating on expressways at such high speeds.
So, what is the best way to deal with tailgating in Singapore?
- Let the tailgater pass as soon as you can and when it is safe to do so. Don’t make impulsive lane changes to try to loose the tailgater. At any speed, this kind of behavior is highly dangerous. Keep calm and practice safe driving.
- Don’t try to aggravate the situation, as tempting as it may be. It’s not worth it and it’s a no-win situation. It will only make matters much worse and is likely to escalate into road rage.
- If it’s not safe to let the tailgater pass, then make sure you leave plenty of space between you and the car in front of you. If the car in front has to brake suddenly, then you’re less likely to end up being sandwiched between two cars.
- Avoid braking sharply. Ease off your accelerator and slow down gradually. If you start flashing your brake lights then you’ll aggravate the tailgater and the brake lights will start to lose their impact. The tailgater won’t take evasive action if you really do have to slam on your brakes.
What is a safe distance between cars?
- For approximately every 30kmh of speed, following distance should be two car lengths.
- At around 60kmh, following distance should be four car lengths.
- And at 90kmh, following distance should be six cars.
Safe distances in good and bad weather
- You should drive at least three seconds behind the vehicle in front during ideal conditions.
- Triple this number during bad weather - nine seconds when it is raining.
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