Tailgating is an interesting issue. While not exactly legal or even ethical, it can be useful for helping a left lane bandit realize that it's time to get out of the way. In any other instance, though, it's
unsafe and rude.
When you're in moderate or heavy traffic, it definitely pays to do like you were taught in Driver's Ed and maintain a
proper following distance. If I had a nickel for every time I saw someone pulled over because of a rearend fender-bender
in heavy traffic... well, I'd be able to pay someone else to make this site look nicer! Needless to say, those minor
accidents lead to even more traffic backup (see rubbernecking), and it's no fun for anyone
involved. Sadly, the most common offenders that I've seen have been driving larger vehicles, specifically SUVs and
minivans, which usually brake significantly worse than smaller cars.
One would think that this is a real simple concept, yet the amount of people I see driving right on other peoples' asses
in traffic is ridiculous. Keep your distance!