Tailgating too close for comfort

Tailgating is more dangerous for drivers than speeding, bad weather and drink-driving, according to figures released by the Department for Transport.

According to figures, 4,256 accidents a year are caused by following too close, causing 6,184 injuries – which equates to 10 injuries each week.

Meanwhile, Volkswagen Commercial Vehicles found that vans driving on A-roads are most susceptible to accidents with 55% of all tailgating incidents happening on these routes. While drivers found guilty of tailgating face a £100 fine and three penalty points, their employers face greater costs with repair bills averaging £2,137 as downtime costing businesses up to £550.

Neil Greig, director of policy and research at IAM RoadSmart, said, ‘Tailgating is the biggest single bugbear that motorway users in particular report. Surveys suggest almost half of drivers feel scared and get angry about it. Keeping your distance means you can observe what is happening around and ahead of you much better and gives you time to react to the unexpected. 

‘Rear-end shunts simply cause massive hold ups and delay deliveries so it is in everyone’s interest that drivers follow the two second rule and leave a safe space in front of them. If the space get filled simply create a new one – it will only add seconds to your journey and reduce your stress levels. If you are being tailgated never overreact as that will only inflame the situation; stay in control and let them pass.’