Is Tailgating Illegal in Minnesota?

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Minnesota law prohibits tailgating and cites drivers for following vehicles too closely, even if no accident occurs. The law advises on safe following practices, with added restrictions for certain vehicles and situations. Tailgating accidents can result in serious damage and injury. Contact Sieben Polk Law Firm for comprehensive legal guidance to ensure you receive the justice and compensation you deserve.

Most drivers in Minnesota have experienced tailgating at some point. Being tailgated can be frightening and frustrating. It can leave you feeling anxious and worried about your safety and the safety of your passengers.
While tailgating is dangerous, it is safe to say that most incidents do not result in car accidents. However, if you or a loved one has been involved in a rear-end car accident, it is important to speak with an experienced tailgating lawyer in Minnesota who can help.

The knowledgeable attorneys at Sieben Polk Law Firm can answer your questions, analyze your case, and guide you through the legal process. From start to finish, Sieben Polk Law Firm. will ensure your case gets the attention and care it requires while you recover the damages you deserve.

Is Tailgating Illegal in Minnesota?

Tailgating is illegal in Minnesota. According to Minnesota statute 169.18 Subd. 8, tailgaters may be cited for following your vehicle too closely, regardless of whether their actions result in a rear-end collision.

Minnesota law states that the tailgater should not follow your vehicle more closely than is reasonable and prudent. Drivers must have due regard for the speed of vehicles and the traffic and road conditions.

The statute offers additional restrictions for drivers of specific vehicle types, including:

  • Vehicles drawing another vehicle
  • Motor trucks
  • Motor buses
  • Any vehicle following an authorized emergency vehicle responding to an emergency

These additional restrictions forbid these specific drivers from following another vehicle more closely than 500 feet.

If you have been the victim of a tailgating accident, you have limited time to file your legal claim. The statute of limitations for filing a tailgating claim in Minnesota varies depending on your specific circumstances. However, in general, the following time limits apply for filing suit:

  • Six years from the date of the accident for personal injury lawsuits , according to Minnesota Statutes Section 541.05
  • Three years from the date of death for a claim involving fatalities, according to Minnesota Statutes Section 573.02

Which States in the Upper Midwest Have Laws Against Tailgating?

Many U.S. states have tailgating laws to prevent people from following vehicles too closely and causing devastating motor vehicle accidents. These Upper Midwest states have the following laws targeting tailgating:

  • Iowa has a tailgating law outlined in Iowa Code 321.307.
  • Michigan has a tailgating law outlined in Section 257.643 of Michigan Compiled Law.
  • Minnesota has a tailgating law under Minnesota statute 169.18 Subd. 8
  • North Dakota has a tailgating law under Section 39-10-18.
  • South Dakota has a tailgating law under Codified Laws Section 32-26-40.
  • Wisconsin’s tailgating law is found under Section 346.14.

What Is Tailgating?

Tailgating occurs when the driver of another vehicle drives too close to your rear bumper. Tailgating can put lives in danger because the closer a driver gets to your car, the less reaction time they have to avoid rear-end crashes.

Drivers of large vehicles, such as semi-trucks and tractor-trailers, are especially dangerous tailgaters. The sheer size of their vehicles can endanger you and your passengers. This is particularly true when highway conditions are less than ideal. Tailgating hazards include:

  • Wet roads
  • Reduced visibility
  • Snow-covered or icy roads
  • Slick roads
  • Congested traffic

It is always important to follow traffic-related laws when driving. Drivers who tailgate put lives in danger, including their own.

How Close Is Too Close?

Knowing exactly how closely you can follow another vehicle can be tricky. It is usually better to err on the side of caution and allow more room than less.

You can follow the three-second rule, as the Minnesota Safety Council recommends. Allow three seconds of following time behind the vehicle in front of you during good weather and add another second for each adverse condition, such as rain, snow, fog, and night driving.

Why Do People Tailgate?

Drivers may tailgate you for various reasons, but they often want you to drive faster. This is why allowing the tailgater to pass you is often an effective strategy. However, some drivers may tailgate you for other reasons, including:

  • Road rage
  • Bad habits
  • Unintentionally, due to traffic
  • Inexperience or lack of knowledge about driving at a safe distance

A recent study found that drivers who prefer to speed tailgate more frequently than drivers who drive within the speed limit.

Tailgating FAQs

You probably have questions if you or a loved one has been involved in a tailgating accident. The following are answers to frequently asked questions from our clients regarding tailgating in Minnesota.

How Do You Stop a Tailgater?

If a driver is tailgating you, the best thing to do is to allow them to pass. If they refuse to pass, pull over and allow them to pass.

How Do I Prevent Tailgating?

You can reduce your chances of tailgating by following these practical tips:

  • Remain aware and vigilant while driving, and avoid tailgating other drivers by leaving enough space in front of you.
  • Know what type of vehicle you are driving and its handling abilities.
  • Consider the current road and weather conditions, including traffic, visibility, and surfaces.

Who Is at Fault for a Tailgating Collision?

In many cases, the tailgater is often at fault if they hit you from behind. However, in certain scenarios, you may be at fault or share fault under Minnesota’s modified comparative fault law.

For example, if you were brake-checking the vehicle behind you, the court could find you responsible for a tailgating collision. The court may find your brake checking was negligent driving under Minnesota law.

If you are involved in a tailgating accident, an experienced lawyer can help you recover damages. Depending on the type of tailgating accident you or a loved one was involved in, contact one of the following:

How Do I Prove That the Driver Who Hit Me Was Following Too Closely?

When you take your claim to court, you must prove that the driver who hit you was tailgating. Your lawyer will gather the necessary evidence to prove the driver was following you too closely. This evidence may include:

  • Witness statements
  • Police reports
  • Video footage or pictures
  • Vehicle damage

Our Car Accident Attorneys Are Here To Help

Tailgating accidents can occur even when you follow the rules of the road and Minnesota’s state law. A rear-end tailgating accident can leave you emotionally shaken and physically injured. Luckily, you do not need to face this legal issue alone. Contact a law firm that understands tailgating accident claims.

If you or a loved one is a victim of a car accident, contact the experienced Eagan car crash lawyers. Call Sieben Polk Law Firm at 651-437-3148 for a free consultation.

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