Keep your distance! Drivers rank tailgating as biggest cause of distraction

07.35 | 15 June 2022 | | 1 comment

“The sight of a fellow driver in your rear-view mirror following too closely can be very disconcerting.”

That’s the assessment of IAM RoadSmart, on the back of a survey suggesting drivers find tailgating as the behaviour that distracts them most.

The survey asked 1,000 drivers to rank a series of ‘occurrences’ based on how distracting they are – and 30% labelled tailgating as the most distracting factor.

With figures from National Highways showing tailgating is a factor in one-in-eight crashes on their road network, IAM RoadSmart says it is “not just a minor inconvenience”.

Neil Greig, director of policy and research at IAM RoadSmart, said: “The sight of a fellow driver in your rear-view mirror following too closely can be very disconcerting, and our survey shows it is the leading cause of driver distraction on Britain’s roads.

“It is worth remembering that you will cover 62 metres every two seconds when travelling at 70mph, meaning you need around 96 metres to stop, making adequate stopping distances absolutely critical to curtail the tailgating problem.”

Tailgating was followed by children or other passengers (26%) and traffic (21%).

 Neil concluded: “Whether it be from reckless behaviour from another road user, or even a screaming child, distractions while driving can come in many different forms. Drivers should always take control and do all they can to mitigate for them. 

“This way, together we can all ensure Britain’s roads are as safe as they can possibly be.”



Comment on this story

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Report a reader comment

Order by Latest first | Oldest first | Highest rated | Lowest rated

    This just confirms what I have been saying for the last decade or so. Tailgating is the ELEPHANT IN THE ROOM and it has been for several decades now. To my observations I would estimate that at least 40 % of drivers tailgate on a regular basis and that a Tailgater is one of the the most dangerous drivers on our roads today. I say that cos to my mind they actually do not know that they are doing anything wrong.

    Why is that you may ask, the answer is very simple, we train them to do it!!!!!!! ADI.s train to the DVSA standard and in their Books ‘The Essential Skills’ there is a page on ‘Separation Distances’. and although their are references on that page to the 2 second rule and just how much following on distances one should give with the recommendations of the H.C. it does also state that in order to save valuable road space around our towns one could be the ‘Thinking Distance’ only. That is what it recommends but goes on to say in some books that anything less than the full stopping distance could put oneself in danger. However it’s their in black and white that one can at times travel by being only 7/10 ths of a second behind another vehicle.

    If drivers are trained to do this and actually pass their test doing it also and they see others constantly doing it as well. Then they will consider it a proper and right thing to do for the rest of their lives and they will learn nothing except on an Advanced Driving Course.

    However if on an advanced course they will also learn that in order to overtake another vehicle its recommended that one closes up on the vehicle to be overtaken and into the ‘overtaking position’ that is considered to be about 1 second behind. So once again we have another authority, The Police, RoSPA, DVSA and that includes the IAM recommending such an insidious position and one that does in fact lead to many collisions on our roads today.~

    Is it not time we looked closely at Tailgating and overtakes and recommended safe distances and decided that it will no longer be THE ELEPHANT IN THE ROOM and to eliminate closer following and overtaking distances.

    Our lives and road would be an awful lot safer if that were the case but it starts from within the establishments.

    Bob Craven, Lancs
    Agree (3) | Disagree (0)

By continuing to use the site, you agree to the use of cookies. more information

The cookie settings on this website are set to "allow cookies" to give you the best browsing experience possible. If you continue to use this website without changing your cookie settings or you click "Accept" below then you are consenting to this.