What is Tailgating?
Tailgating in the UK is the unsafe practice of following another vehicle too closely. Particularly when driving on dual-carriageways, and on motorways. High-speed roads are particularly dangerous when vehicles follow other vehicles too closely. Tailgating cars get too close to other vehicles, and very often are hidden in the blind spot of large vehicles such as lorries and coaches. Tailgating vehicles such as cars can be very vulnerable in the event of an emergency.
If the vehicle being followed too closely has to brake suddenly, a rear-end accident may occur with the vehicle following too closely. This can cause major devastation on roads especially on motorways and on dual carriageways. On many occasions, numerous vehicles are involved in road collisions that result in fatalities.
Very often, drivers who exercise tailgating put pressure on other motorists to speed up causing them to panic and feel under pressure to break the law with speed.
Is tailgating illegal?
Tailgating is illegal. 1 in 8 deaths on British roads is caused by tailgating (Highways England), as reported by the Sun. This act is intimidating and causes 12.5% of all deaths in the UK. Understanding the two-second rule will help prevent motorists from getting too near other vehicles ahead of them.
As reported by the Express, tailgating could land you with a £100 fine and three penalty points on your driver’s licence. Penalties can range from a caution to a speed awareness course or a monetary fine. Motorists are urged to NOT intimidate other road users and to plan their journeys ahead. A lot of motorists do NOT know that tailgating is a crime, and are unaware of the penalties that they may get due to tailgating.
What to do when someone is tailgating you?
If you are driving on a motorway, and someone is tailgating you, you should be aware of what to do when someone is tailgating you. The Highway Code advises that you should drop back and allow more space ahead of you – in case there is a collision, the more space you have, the less chance of involving other vehicles.
You should always adopt the two-second rule, and NOT be pressured into increasing your speed, which will in-turn, force you to break the law. In which case, you would be liable for prosecution and a fine.
1/3 in motorists experience some form of tailgating by other motorists on a weekly basis. It isn’t always possible to control how other motorists act: but it is possible to understand the law, and to be able to recognize when you are being tailgated by another vehicle. Adopting a positive attitude toward safe driving will equip you with the necessary skills to lessen the impact of tailgating.
How to avoid tailgating another driver
When it comes to avoiding tailgating other drivers, it is important to understand the risks involved. Being involved in a collision head-on has by far more consequences than being involved in an accident from the rear. Although both scenarios are dangerous – if you are the person who is tailgating another vehicle, you should really understand how your actions can cause detrimental chaos and deaths on the roads.
You should plan your drive before you leave home. Allowing more time for your journey, this will reduce the need to tailgate other road users. You should tune into your local radio station for traffic updates and try to avoid areas of high congestion. You could start your journey when traffic volume is at a minimum such as when it is not rush-hour.
Why do drivers speed?
There are many reasons why drivers tend to speed on the roads in the UK. Very often, people do NOT plan their journeys and rush to their destination and drive without due care and attention to other road users. Sometimes people speed as they do NOT drive with a positive attitude. Defensive driving is a skill that every motorist should adopt, and a healthy attitude toward safe driving should be a value instilled in every motorist. However, this is NOT always the case.
Sometimes people speed because they do NOT know the speed limits and assume it is a certain speed. They may get annoyed if they believe you are driving too slow for a particular road. This may be quite common on rural roads, where there are limited opportunities to pass and overtake. A slower moving vehicle may be blocking the road and prevent other motorists from passing.
If this is the case, when possible, the slow-moving vehicle should move into a passing place on the left when it is safe to do so.
How to get rid of tailgaters?
When it comes to getting rid of tailgaters, it isn’t always possible to stop them from tailgating you. Being aware of what is happening around you at all times will improve your reactions. Also, being alert will improve your decisions whilst driving. For example, if you notice someone is tailgating you: you will increase the gap ahead of you to lessen the impact if an accident did occur.
The act of tailgating is usually because someone is in a rush, and they are trying to make you go faster so that they can get to their destination quicker. If it is NOT possible for them to overtake, motorists sit too close behind and often flash their headlights. They may even try to overtake you when it is not safe to do so. Getting rid of tailgaters is not easy, but, as a safe and responsible motorist – keeping alert and defensive will reduce the impact in the eventuality of a road traffic collision.