Working drivers urged to avoid tailgating and reduce rear end

Sat, 29 Mar 2008
New research by UK road safety charity Brake suggests that at-work
drivers are significantly more likely to tailgate than other drivers.
The research indicates that at-work drivers feel under pressure to 'get
there quickly'. In total, 61% of at-work drivers admitted leaving less
than a two-second gap with the vehicle in front, compared to 40% of
other drivers.

According to UK Department for Transport Road Casualties Great Britain
statistics, 'following too close' was a contributory factor in 10,024
crashes in 2006, accounting for 720 serious injuries and at least 54
deaths - with motorways a particular blackspot.

'Hit rear' or 'hit in rear' collisions appear in most of our clients'
top five collision types, and usually make number 1 in terms of cost
per incident.

For these reasons, we at Interactive Driving Systems have developed the
following 14 tips to help reduce the risks of tailgating, following too
close and causing or receiving a 'rear-ender'.

1. Plan journeys, allowing enough time to arrive safely without the
need to drive hard.
2. Check brakes, lights, tyre pressure and tyre tread on at least a
daily basis.
3. Don't tailgate - keep a safe following distance - 2 seconds when
the conditions are good, 4 seconds otherwise.
4. Think about the vehicle behind you, by slowing down earlier and
avoiding false starts at roundabouts you give people behind more time
and space.
5. Constantly scan the road ahead, on either side, and in your
mirrors to be aware of other road users around your vehicle.
6. If you are being tailgated, let the other driver pass as soon as
it is safe to do so. You should also allow extra room ahead. Then, if
you need to, you can slow down gradually and avoid braking suddenly -
and being hit from behind by the tailgater!
7. Plan ahead for intersections and traffic signals and always be
ready for sudden stops or movements by other drivers.
8. Stay calm in traffic, and allow more space between you and the
vehicle in front so that you have time to stop. It should take three
seconds or more for your vehicle to travel the distance of the gap.
9. Adjust your speed according to the weight of your vehicle, the
vehicles around you and the road conditions. Drivers of loaded vehicles
need four seconds or more.
10. Slow down, particularly when weather and driving conditions
change - in the wet, poor visibility or on gravel roads.
11. Drive defensively by reading the road ahead - and braking early
and gently.
12. Anticipate the good and bad intentions of other road users to
avoid accidents.
13. Pay close attention to other vehicles and changes in their
14. Always be calm and courteous to other drivers.

For a FREE information sheet for fleet managers and drivers on 'Keeping
your distance' email ( or call (01484 559909) Brake.

This communication is an example of the regular monthly road safety
mailings from Interactive Driving Systems. More details are
available at


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