The police are clamping down on tailgating, imposing £100 fines.This comes after research from the Highways England that shows almost 2,000 accidents were caused last year by tailgaters resulting in over 100 fatalities.
Research also shows that a driver being tailgated experiences an increase in heart rate, anxiety and an increased level of stress. It also causes traffic jams due to the fact that as a driver brakes the car behind then brakes a little harder causing the driver behind them to do the same until the traffic comes to a standstill.
Former formula 1 driver Nigel Mansell who is president of road safety group “Institute of Advanced Motorists” leads a campaign called “Don’t be a Space Invader”. Mansell says that tailgating is something he complete deplores due to the fact that it’s not only intimidating but also leads to serious accidents.
The safe following distance should be measured as 2 seconds in dry conditions and 4 seconds in the wet. 9 out of 10 drivers have been victims of tailgaters and around 1 in 4 admit to tailgating other motorists.
Richard Leonard of Highways England says that drivers who experience tailgating not only feel intimidated but can be more distracted as a result leading them to make more mistakes. He also points out that most drivers who do it do not do it deliberately. It’s more that they are unaware of what they are doing and the dangers involved. Thankfully only a tiny percentage of tailgating was deliberately done.
So when you’re driving around Newbury and Thatcham be aware of your own safe distance from the vehicle by saying “Only a fool breaks the 2 second rule” as the vehicle passes a fixed marker. Hopefully you will pass the same marker after you finish the saying. If the car behind is following too close then ”be aware but don’t stare”. Rather than being pressured to speed up, do the opposite and slow down. Create a larger gap between you and the vehicle in front.