Most of us are guilty of sometimes driving too close behind the car in front – intentionally or not – however the dangerous practice of ‘tailgating’ has become more common than ever on Irish roads. A survey by motoring solutions specialist easytrip has found that more than 79% of motorists have been the victim of tailgating in the last year, with 55% experiencing it on a monthly basis and almost 40% on a weekly basis.
Although being tailgated is a stressful situation, 30% of survey respondents say they ignore it when it happens while other drivers deal with it in different ways, including:
· Pulling over / changing lanes to let driver pass (38%)
· Using brake lights to encourage the driver to back off (27%)
· Speeding up to get away (5%)
Meanwhile, three out of 10 of those surveyed admitted tailgating other motorists over the last 12 months, with 53% of males making the disclosure compared to 24% of females, citing that the driver in front was ‘driving too slowly’ as the main reason for doing so.
The easytrip survey also found that we are a nation of angry drivers, with more than 42% of respondents admitting to using aggressive tactics in a bid to get other motorists to move aside, including:
Flashing lights (90%)
Males confess to slightly more intimidating tactics on the road with 7% admitting to using hand gestures compared to 0% of females.
More than 82% of those surveyed would be in favour of adopting the custom used on German Autobahns on Irish roads, whereby a motorist approaching a vehicle in the outer/fast lane indicates right to politely request that the vehicle in front vacate the lane so they can pass.
“The RAC Report on Motoring 2013 puts tailgating in third place of driver stresses while separate research shows that 80% of accidents on our roads are due to driver error.” says Ciara O’Brien, General Manager of easytrip.
“In accordance with the rules of the road, 2 seconds is the recommended distance between you and the car in front while 4 seconds is recommended in wet conditions and it was shocking to see that only 30% of those surveyed got this right!. We strongly advise drivers to respect fellow motorists and to keep your distance at all times as you never know when the driver in front will have to apply their brakes.”