Recent figures demonstrate one in eight of all road casualties are caused by people who drive too close to the vehicle in front of them, with more than 100 KSIs each year.
Although small minority of tailgating is unfortunately deliberate, most instances are unintentional, with drivers simply being unaware of that they are dangerously invading another driver’s space.
In response to these concerning figures, Highways England this week launched a safety campaign using the well-known Space Invader video game as a way to alert drivers to the risks and anti-social nature of tailgating. See the video released to accompany the campaign here.
As a part of the campaign, Highways England also released the results of a new survey. The survey revelaed that tailgating is the single biggest bugbear that drivers have about other road users. Nearly 90% of drivers have either experienced or witnessed tailgating and over 25% of driver admitted to having committed it.
In-car research, conducted using dashcams, facial recognition, emotion tracking and heart monitors, showed that a driver’s typical reaction to someone who tailgates them is surprise, anger and contempt, with a spike in heart rate.
Highways England is encouraging drivers to abide by the Highway Code, which says that drivers should allow at least a two second gap, which should be doubled on wet roads.
Richard Leonard, Head of Road Safety at Highways England, says: “If you get too close to the car in front, you won’t be able to react and stop in time if they suddenly brake.
“Tailgating makes the driver in front feel targeted and victimised, distracting their attention from the road ahead and making them more likely to make a mistake.
“It is intimidating and frightening if you’re on the receiving end. If that leads to a collision, then people in both vehicles could end up seriously injured or killed. We want everyone to travel safely, so the advice is – stay safe, stay back.”
Take a look at the dedicated webpage to find more information about tailgating and read Highways England’s advice to driver on how to stay safe.