Road safety charity Brake have released figures that six in ten UK drivers own up to risky tailgating and a similar amount break the limit by 10mph or more on motorways.
The survey conducted with Direct Line found that men are the worst offenders with 95 per cent of drivers at least occasionaly concerned about vehicles too close behind them.
More than four in tem are concerned every, or most, times they drive on a motorway
Julie Townsend, deputy chief executive, Brake, said: “Almost all drivers are concerned about the danger posed by other people tailgating on motorways, and yet a shockingly high proportion admit driving too close and speeding themselves. There are no two ways about it: ignore the two-second rule or the speed limit on motorways and you’re putting yourself and others at risk of a horrific crash. Traffic laws are not just for other people: all drivers can help make our motorways safer and prevent needless tragedies by committing to keep your distance and stay under speed limits, including temporary lower limits.”
Brake urges all drivers to always keep at least a two-second gap between themselves and the vehicle in front, extending this to four seconds or more in wet weather or poor visibility - on all roads, not just motorways.
The charity recently supported Highway Agency proposals to roll out speed cameras on stretches of ‘smart’ motorways, and urges the government to extend the used of average speed cameras across the network.
Simon Sheldon-Wilson, traffic management director at the Highways Agency, said: “Safety is our top priority and we are committed to continuing to reduce the number of people killed and seriously injured on our roads. Congestion on the strategic road network is estimated to cost the economy £3 billion each year, 25 per cent of which is caused by incidents. That’s why we remind drivers of the dangers of tailgating and support Brake’s advice to keep a safe distance from the car in front and to adhere to fixed and variable speed limits.”