What is Following too closely in Delaware?
As a driver in Delaware, it’s your responsibility to keep a safe following distance from the vehicle in front of you. Following too closely, also known as tailgating, is a traffic offense that can result in points on your license, fines, and even license suspension in some cases. Delaware driving law describes following too closely as driving any closer than a reasonable and prudent distance under the conditions and having regard for the speed of the vehicles, and the traffic upon and the condition of the highway.
Penalties for Following too closely in Delaware
If you follow too closely, and the law enforcement officer decides that your driving was negligent and reckless, you could face the following Delaware driving law punishments:
Fines: If you are convicted of tailgating in Delaware, you may face paying fines of up to $270 for the first offense. For the second and subsequent offenses, the fines can go up to $570.
Points: Following too closely can also result in points being added to your driving record. Delaware driving law mandates that three points are added to your license for a first conviction, and six points for each subsequent conviction that occurs within three years of the first offense. Accumulating 14 or more points will result in a license suspension.
License Suspension: If you are convicted of following too closely three times within a space of two years, Delaware driving law allows the DMV to suspend your driver’s license for up to six months.
Exceptions to the Following too closely Law in Delaware
There are a few circumstances where Delaware driving law permits driving shorter than a reasonable distance in the following of another vehicle. Some exceptions or exigency situations are:
In heavily trafficked areas where traffic congestion and intermittent stops are common.
When an over-length vehicle is overtaking and passing another vehicle, provided that such overtaking and passing may be done safely and without hindering the safe operation of any approaching vehicle.
In case of emergencies like fire trucks, ambulances, and other emergency vehicles that are responding to an emergency call.
How to Avoid Following too closely in Delaware?
Here are a few tips for Delaware drivers to avoid tailgating:
Safety distance: You should maintain a minimum of two seconds between your car and the one in front of you. During poor weather conditions such as rain or snow, this time should be increased to four seconds.
Signal: Use turn signals or brake lights when slowing down or changing lanes to alert other drivers.
Check your mirrors: Keep checking the side and rearview mirrors to understand the surrounding traffic and to anticipate sudden stops or slowdowns.
Speed limits: Stay within the posted speed limits and avoid feeling pressured by other drivers to go faster.
Stay Calm: Avoid road rage and other aggressive driving behaviors. If someone is tailgating you, try to safely pull to the side and let them pass.
The Importance of Following Delaware Driving Laws
Driving safely on the roads is a shared responsibility that requires every driver to follow traffic laws and regulations. Following too closely is one of the most common causes of car accidents in Delaware. These accidents can result in property damages, personal injuries, and even fatalities. In conclusion, avoiding tailgating and following Delaware driving laws is critical to keep our roads safe for all who use them.
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