It seems like everyone in Manhattan is always in a rush. No one wants to wait at a red light or to let pedestrians safely cross the street. Some motorists quickly trail behind the car in front of them to avoid anything that might slow them down. It’s not only annoying, but extremely dangerous. On highways, cars usually are following too closely or tailgate as a method of intimidation because they want to pass the car in front of them. By law, motorists are supposed to maintain a safe following distance behind the car in front of it.
According to VTL 1129 following too closely is described as: the driver of a motor vehicle shall not follow another vehicle more closely than is reasonable and prudent, having due regard for the speed of such vehicles and the traffic upon the condition of the highway.
Reasonable and prudent can be determined by the motorists’ judgment. In driver’s education we were taught that you should always remain “a car length” apart from other cars and more than one “car length” apart on highways. The average car is about 14 feet and 8 inches long. By doing so you are creating a buffer space, should anything happen.
If the car in front of you suddenly slams on their brakes, that leaves you with a short reaction time. You have seconds to brake or safely switch lanes. If a motorist is driving behind a car leaving little to no space in front of them the likelihood of them braking in time is greatly decreased. This could cause a car crash domino effect. According to NYPD this year there have been 542 summonses issued for following too closely. This is a very common summons in New York City; many of my clients have been issued a summons for this and want to fight it.
An experienced New York Traffic, Criminal, TLC and CDL Attorney can help. I have been fighting these summonses and others like it for over 28 years. If you have a summons for Following Too Closely, contact me immediately. I can be contacted at 212-227-9008 or via email at firstname.lastname@example.org.