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Everything you need to know about Tailgating

Posted in Articles | November 11th 2019


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Did you know that tailgating is the number one cause of van accidents in the UK, according to Volkswagen Commercial Vehicles there are 10 injuries a week caused by tailgating!

What is Tailgating?

Tailgating is simply driving too close behind the vehicle in front and not leaving a safe distance to stop if you suddenly need to without causing a collision.

The safe distance you should leave between your vehicle and the one in front depends on multiple factors: the weather, your speed, visibility, your vehicle condition and any other road conditions.

If you get caught tailgating another vehicle, you will be fined up to £100 and receive 3 points on your licence, the offence will fall under careless driving. In more serious cases like if your tailgating causes a collision you could face a driving ban or even a prison sentence depending on the circumstances.

Tailgating collision

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Why do people tailgate and how to deal with it?

Tailgating is easily avoided so why do motorists continue doing it?

People often tailgate vehicles ahead because of impatience, they may be in a rush to get somewhere so they try to force motorists out of their way.  

If you are being tailgated by the vehicle behind, there are guidelines to follow to ensure you stay as safe as possible:

  • Don’t slow right down below the speed limit or repeatedly touch your brakes to prove a point to the driver, this heightens the chances of a collision.

  • Stick to the speed limit, don’t feel forced to speed up. Ensure you stay calm and focus on your driving if you are on a dual carriageway pull in when safe and let them pass.

  • Assess your speed, if you are driving below the speed limit, consider speeding up to the limit if it is safe to do so because driving too far below the speed limit is an ‘inconsiderate driving’ offence.

How can you avoid being Tailgated?

Keep aware of the road around you, watch your positioning on the road. If you are hogging the outside lane, pull into the inside lane if it is clear.

Never pull into a gap that is too small and doesn’t allow you or the car behind enough stopping distance.