Tailgating – new campaign to address a major cause of serious injury and death on UK roads

Posted Oct 17, 2018.
A recent campaigned launched by Highways England is highlighting one of the major causes of serious road traffic accident (RTA) related injuries and fatalities on the UK road network – tailgating.

The campaign’s ‘Space Invader’ theme emphasises the importance of leaving enough space between you and the vehicle in front, to give you enough chance to react in the event of unexpected behaviour such as sudden braking and lane changing. Continuing with the ‘Space Invaders’ theme, the campaign emphasises that as well as tailgating being the third most likely cause of serious injuries and fatalities on UK motorways in 2016, you don’t ‘get an extra lives’ as you would in the cult 1980’s game.

As well as being a serious safety issue, surveys indicate that tailgating is the number one behaviour that motorists would like to see stamped out, with nearly nine out of ten motorists having either experienced or witnessed it.   With tailgating being responsible for one in eight casualties on motorways and A-roads,  common reactions to those who have been tailgated include fear, anger and frustration – not a good combination when trying to stay safe on our busy roads. Whilst there are many aggressive drivers , with modern cars being so refined and packed with cocooning, modern safety technology, many tailgaters may simply be unaware of the danger and resentment they are causing. The Highway Code says that at least a two-second gap should be maintained to the car in front, to allow both thinking and braking time, and this should be doubled in wet conditions. 

The campaign has received the backing from former Formula One World Champion Nigel Mansell, who is president of the Institute of Advanced Motorists Roadsmart. Mansell says:

“There is absolutely no upside to tailgating – you will not get to your destination faster, you are not a skilled driver for doing it, and you are putting so many innocent people at risk. So I very much back this campaign to highlight the dangers of tailgating”


Full details of the Highways England campaign can be found here.

 
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