Autocar Survey: Tailgaters Most Irritating
A survey involving 14,500 AA members has indicated that the most irritating habit of road users is that of tailgating. 36 per cent of the sample group told Populus, in conjunction with the AA, that “close following” was the worst of the idiotic pieces of driving seen on Britain’s roads. The survey heralds the arrival of the latest drive to improve the standard of driving in the UK, the Autocar/AA Drive Better Campaign.
The AA’s president told Autocar that tailgating was also a very dangerous bad habit: “Survey respondents were spot on to highlight their irritation with tailgaters. Data reveals that leaving pure human error aside tailgaters fall just behind ‘loss of control’ as the major cause of crashes. It’s a problem not only on motorways but also on dual carriageways, country lanes and in road works. Some tailgate to bully drivers out of the way, others because they just don’t think of the potentially tragic consequences of their actions.”
Autocar says that the summer will see busier roads due to lower levels of foreign travel in vacation periods, and that it is important to stress the benefits of safer driving techniques and the dangers of tailgating, which – says the AA – contributes to 16 per cent of motorway accidents. Rather than concentrate on reducing speed in drivers, the Autocar/AA Campaign aims to educate drivers in more comprehensive safer driving strategies, making “close following” an ideal starting point.
Chas Hallett, editor of Autocar concludes: “For more than a decade the road safety message has been speed kills. But the truth is a little different – just five per cent of all accidents (and 12 per cent of fatalities) were wholly or partly caused by a driver breaking the speed limit. Poor driving causes the vast majority of accidents and tailgating is the cause of many collisions. Tailgaters need to remember the danger they put other road users in.”