Drivers risking lives tailgating

JonathanMay 19, 2014

More than half of drivers (57 per cent) in the UK admit to tailgating, while a similar number (60 per cent) confess to breaking the speed limit by more than 10mph on the motorway. A new survey from Brake and Direct Line, suggests that male drivers are the worst offenders, putting themselves and other road users at risk of danger.

However, it's not a lack of awareness that appears to be the problem, with the vast majority of motorists (95 per cent) saying they occasionally worry about other road users tailgating them on motorways. Some 44 per cent are concerned every time or most times they travel on the motorway that another motorist will drive too closely to their vehicle.

Not leaving enough room between your vehicle and the car in front of you means that you are far more likely to be involved in an accident, should something cause the motorist to stop suddenly. On motorways, this becomes especially dangerous and could result in a devastating crash where people are severely hurt or killed.

According to the research from Brake and Direct Line, crashes that happen on 70mph roads are more than twice as likely to result in death as crashes on roads with lower speed limits. The most recent data reveals that in the space of a year, 88 people will be killed and 654 suffered serious injuries.

However, many drivers are still flouting the rules, with more than half (57 per cent) leaving less than a two-second gap between themselves and the vehicle in front, while 28 per cent do this on a regular basis.

Julie Townsend, deputy chief executive, Brake, said that nearly every driver is concerned about the risks of tailgating but "a shockingly high proportion" of motorists admit to doing it.

She said: "There are no two ways about it: ignore the two-second rule or the speed limit on motorways and you're putting yourself and others at risk of a horrific crash. Traffic laws are not just for other people: all drivers can help make our motorways safer and prevent needless tragedies by committing to keep your distance and stay under speed limits, including temporary lower limits."

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