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Association of Personal Injury Lawyers

Solution to whiplash injuries lies in motorists’ behaviour, say lawyers

19 Nov 2013
APIL news

Many whiplash injuries can be avoided if motorists stop driving too close to the vehicle in front, says a group of personal injury lawyers during Road Safety Week (18-24 November).

“Tailgating is more than just incredibly irritating, it’s dangerous as well,” said Matthew Stockwell, president of national not-for-profit group the Association of Personal Injury Lawyers (APIL) which campaigns to prevent needless injuries.

Matthew said that fewer injuries should also be reflected in lower car insurance premiums: “If the crash doesn’t happen in the first place, there will be no painful whiplash injury, no compensation claim, and no chance of picking up a £100 penalty - it’s that simple,” he added.

“Ask yourself if driving close behind the vehicle in front is really going to get you to your destination any quicker. It’s not. It’s an utterly pointless thing to do.”

Road Safety Week comes as reports suggest the UK will experience an exceptionally harsh winter this year.

“Stopping distances increase up to ten times on icy roads, further increasing the risk of a crash,” said Matthew.

“The answer couldn’t be more straightforward – back off”.

National policing lead for roads policing, Chief Constable Suzette Davenport, said:

“Tailgating is a dangerous activity which we are seeking to address.

“In doing so, we are working closely with key partners in the insurance and motoring industries.

“All support that can be generated from road users and related industries for any campaign to stop tailgating and the injuries that it can cause is something we would welcome.”

Tailgating came top (41 per cent) in an online poll by APIL about which bad habits are most irritating to motorists. Tailgating was followed by: failing to indicate (33 per cent); driving too slowly (18 per cent); hogging the middle lane of the motorway (6 per cent); and parking outside of the lines (2 per cent). 


Notes to editors:

  • Watch APIL’s anti-tailgating cartoon, A Lesson in Social Graces, here.
  • Support APIL’s Back Off campaign on Facebook here.
  • Join the conversation on Twitter #backoff 
  • Twitter hashtag for Road Safety Week is #rsw13
  • APIL (Association of Personal Injury Lawyers) is a not-for-profit organisation whose members are dedicated to campaigning for improvements in the law to help people who are injured or become ill through no fault of their own.
  • For more information contact APIL's press and communications officers Jane Hartwell on t: 0115 943 5416, m: 07808 768623, e:, or Tim Carter t: 0115 943 5409, e:
  • Visit the association's website at
  • Follow @APIL on Twitter:

Past press releases

Cold calling ban: time for Government to deliver, 08 Mar 2018
MPs told: Now is the time to ban cold calling, 22 Jan 2018
Get to grips with clearing snow and ice, say lawyers, 21 Dec 2017
Injured people must retain access to the courts , 15 Dec 2017
Kent roads have highest number of collisions, figures reveal, 13 Dec 2017
Highest rate of work injuries in North Warwickshire, 08 Nov 2017
House of Lords urged to ban nuisance cold calls , 13 Sep 2017
Drivers urged to "back off", 16 Aug 2017

More past press releases

Head of Public Affairs
Lorraine Gwinnutt
0115 943 5400

Communications Manager
Jane Hartwell
0115 943 5416

Press & Communications Officer
Lizzy Freeman
0115 943 5431