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).