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"Following Too Closely" Tickets-What to Know and How to Win

Posted Friday, January 7, 2022 by Andrew Charles Huff

I have found that in many cases involving multi-vehicle accidents, police officers will commonly cite a driver for the infraction of “Following Too Closely” even of the officer did not witness what happened. However, this is actually one of the reasons why the infraction of “Following Too Closely” can be beaten in court.

The infraction of “Following Too Closely” is cited under RCW 46.61.145 and requires drivers to only follow other vehicles at a distance that is “reasonable and prudent.” Other factors taken into consideration are other traffic, road and weather conditions and the speed of other vehicles. The distance that is considered “reasonable and prudent” will obviously vary depending on the circumstances. You can leave a small distance between cars on a dry road in the middle of the day while traveling at slow speeds. However, you should leave a lot of space if you are driving on icy roads with poor visibility.

The majority of “Following Too Closely” tickets are issued in cases involving rear-end collisions. Most officers handing out these tickets presume that if you rear-ended someone, you were following them too closely and could not stop in time. Sometimes officers will stop someone they personally observe someone “tailgating” another vehicle even if no accident occurs.

In most accident cases, insurance companies will look at a “Following Too Closely” ticket as proof that you were responsible for the accident and therefore it’s extremely important this infraction not be found “committed.” This means higher insurance premiums for most, and some people can even be denied coverage after such an accident. However, even the best and most responsible drivers fall victim to forces beyond their control – things like road conditions, or even a moment of distraction

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