Tailgating any vehicle, for any reason, is extremely dangerous. You risk causing a fender bender, or worse, depending on what type of vehicle you’re following too closely. When car drivers tailgate other vehicles, they shorten the distance. The shorter the distance, the shorter amount of time there is for a driver to stop in the event that they need to. One instance where this can be particularly dangerous, is if you’re tailgating a tractor trailer or other industrial vehicle. They’re much larger, much more proactive in stopping, and much harder to see around.

Tailgating Tractor Trailers: Why It’s Dangerous

Lowered Visibility

Following too closely behind a truck is dangerous for a number of reasons. One of which, is that the truck driver may not be able to see you so they can’t adjust for your presence. Aside from this, you also can’t see what’s going on in front of that truck. Maybe traffic is stacking, an accident just occurred, or a speed limit reduction is coming up. For any of these situations, your visibility when tailgating would be way too close to tell. So, if the tractor trailer significantly reduces speed or stops quick, you very likely could hit them. While any type of accident is not ideal, rear-ending a tractor trailer can do some pretty serious damage. However, it’s not going to damage they vehicle…

The Mansfield, or DOT, Bar

There are plenty of things that can happen if you rear-end a truck. But one measure of these, once gruesome, accidents has been reduced through adaptations to the back end of tractor trailers. For one, many trucks nowadays have a DOT bar, or a Mansfield Bar. The Mansfield bar was crafted in the ’60s, after a Hollywood starlet and her lover perished in an accident.

On that evening, a thick fog covered the road, reducing visibility, and they rear-ended a tractor trailer. At the time, there was no measure in place to keep a car from going under the truck when they hit it. Therefore, after this terrible accident, a new safety measure came to be. A bar that would prevent vehicles from sliding underneath the tractor trailer in the event of an accident. 

Death and Deadly Injury

Tailgating a tractor trailer serves no real purpose. Many times, when drivers are angry, they will tailgate a vehicle to prove a point. Speed up, pay more attention, or ‘you shouldn’t have passed me’. It seems quite common that those who tailgate, are trying to deliver a message. But, tractor trailers cannot see you. Therefore, they are not aware that you have an issue. So, riding their bumper can ultimately only hurt you.