What is tailgating, is it illegal in the UK, what does the law say and how dangerous is it?
TAILGATING kills more than 100 people on England’s roads every year.
Let’s take a closer look at the dangerous practise.
What is tailgating?
Tailgating is when a car drives too close behind the vehicle in front.
If the driver in front suddenly brakes this leaves very little time for the tailgating driver to react, risking an unavoidable accident or even a potential death.
A survey carried out by Highways England found that nearly nine in 10 drivers had experienced the problem.
Is tailgating illegal in the UK?
Yes, tailgating is illegal in the UK.
Penalties can start with cops issuing a £100 on-the-spot fine and three points on your licence.
More serious cases are usually dealt with through the courts and can result in a driving ban or even a prison sentence.
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What is the two second rule?
The recommended safe distance each car should maintain while in traffic is called ‘the two second rule’.
This refers to the time it should take to stop a car suddenly without crashing into the vehicle in front.
How dangerous is tailgaiting?
In 2018, a study by Highways England showed that one in eight (12.5 per cent) of casualties on major roads in the country were caused by tailgating.
The organisation launched a campaign called ‘Don’t Be A Space Invader’ to make road users aware of the dangers of driving too close.
Nicholas Lyes, RAC Head of Roads Policy, warned drivers against the dangerous and intimidating practise.
He said: “Tailgating won’t increase your chances of getting to your destination more quickly, it will simply increase the chances of a serious collision.
“Our message to drivers is that they should keep at least a two second gap, and use the chevrons indicated on some roads to understand what a safe gap looks like in reality.
“Of course, in poor weather conditions, extra space is essential.”
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