Tailgating: beat the danger

27 February 2006

  • Rear-end shunts UK's most common accident
  • Common-sense solutions can keep you safe
  • Remove yourself from the problem


Rear-end shunts account for one in three of all accidents in the UK – but there are simple, practical measures you can take to avoid tailgating.

Tailgating is when drivers creep too close to the car in front. It's intimidating and dangerous, but the Institute of Advance Motorists has some tips to help avoid the danger.

Its solutions all involve you removing yourself from the problem. On a motorway or dual carriageway, only change lanes when it is safe to do so, and clearly indicate your intention to pull over – this allows tailgaters to pass you, even if they are driving too fast.

Never try to impose the speed limit on someone who clearly wants to go faster. This can cause him or her to attempt to undertake, which carries other dangers for you and those around you.

Remember, though, that pulling over to let a tailgater through may not necessarily be practical either. Don't be intimidated into speeding up – instead, create an additional stopping distance between you and the vehicle in front of you, so that when you do have to brake, you can do so smoothly, giving you and the tailgater more time and distance to brake.

The more time your brake lights are on, the more time the more time the tailgater has to notice and pull back.

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