You can request supervision by pleading. Supervision is not a conviction. You really take your chances by going to trial and from what you describe, you may feel justified but legally you may not have stated a defense that would hold up. Even if no one shows up, the officer who wrote the ticket will likely be there and the fact that you hit the car in front of you speaks for itself that you were following too close. If you choose to represent yourself, be prepared with your facts. You might get lucky and then again you might not.
The lady in front of you was able to stop. Why weren't you? Maybe too close behind her. You will not fare well in a trial against a lawyer. If you lose, the judge may assess court costs on top of the fine.
If the witnesses do not appear, the case will be dismissed or possibly continued for the state to notify them. If they show, you can simply tell the judge you are requesting court supervision. www.galivanlaw.net
Do you honestly think that people who are too cheap to hire a lawyer can get free advice on how to practice law?
Every case varies depending on the law and the facts. Because questions often fail to disclose important facts, these 'answers' cannot and should not be relied upon as a replacement for a full or complete review of an actual case by a retained attorney. It is axiomatic that one only 'gets what they pay for', and this is one of those situations where such a phrase generally applies.