Tailgating is one of the biggest bugbears amongst UK drivers


According to new research, the biggest offence on UK roads which is causing more accidents for van drivers is tailgating, leading to 10 injuries per week.

Department for Transport (DfT) figures show that ‘following too close’ is more prominent than speeding, drink-driving and bad weather conditions when it comes to causing accidents. The research found that this offence came only secondary to van drivers not looking properly and failing to judge the speed of other road users.

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Driver warning: Tailgating is more dangerous than speeding or drink-driving, so remember the two-second rule. © Copyright Ian Paterson and licensed for reuse under this Creative Commons Licence.

In 2017, DfT figures showed there was a total of 4,256 reported accidents in which the vehicles were ‘following too close’, leading to 6,184 injuries and 19 fatalities.

From these figures, around 8% of the cases involved light commercial vehicles and equates to 10 injures per week.

The most vulnerable road users that could be involved in an accident because of tailgating are van drivers on ‘A’ roads, as 55% of incidents happen on this type of road.

A driver can be fined £100 and given three penalty points if found guilty of tailgating. However, if it leads to a serious collision, a driver could be looking at a driving ban or possibly a prison term.

The offence doesn’t just affect van drivers either, as thousands of normal motorists become victims of tailgating every year.

“Tailgating is the biggest single bugbear that motorway users in particular report,” said Neil Greig, Director of Policy and Research at IAM RoadSmart, also adding: “Surveys suggest almost half of drivers feel scared and get angry about it.”

Drivers are being urged to remember the two-second rule when driving which helps increase the stopping distance between two vehicles and if you’re being tailgated by another road user, don’t react but simply stay calm and let them go past.


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