SALT LAKE (ABC 4 News) – Tailgating is a growing trend in Utah and the number one cause of accidents in the state, according to the Utah Highway Patrol.
Truck drivers in the Salt Lake area said they have the most trouble because drivers follow too close to them.
“You don’t really want to get underneath any of these wheels,” Ben Antonucci, a trucker, said.
Many truckers tell ABC 4 News slamming on brakes doesn’t always avoid an accident.
David Tucker is a truck driver who considers the highway his home. He said inconsiderate drivers make it unsafe.
“They just don't realize that we can't stop on a dime,” Tucker said. “Sometimes they'll just cut right in front of us and we won't have time to stop. Other times they'll follow so close that when traffic does stop people just slam into each other and cause all sorts of mess.”
In Wednesday’s morning commute, tailgaters caused eight crashes in Salt Lake County, according to UHP. A spokesman for UHP said eight to ten crashes is considered the daily average for following too close.
“Pretty much at any time you get on I-15 you are going to find someone who is following too close,” Trooper Keith Dockstader said. “Again, that is why it's the number one cause of accidents in the state of Utah.”
Tailgaters were responsible for over 3,000 crashes in the valley last year.
In order to avoid accidents, troopers said it boils down to personal responsibility and giving yourself enough time to travel to your destination.