Too close to call

Tailgaters and CLODs are drivers' biggest bugbears

In the latest survey of driver bugbears, tailgating irritates drivers the most (29%).

This is followed in second place by middle-lane hogger (or Centre Lane Only Drivers – CLODs) and  those drivers talking on hand-held mobile phones (both 21%).

Give me space

According to new research from AA Accident Assist, women are the most annoyed. For vehicles that are too close behind,  34% of women identify it as the most irritating driver behaviour compared to 27% of men.

The poll of 13,400 drivers also found that that a third (32%) of drivers are unaware of, or choose to ignore the two-second rule.

Rules for a reason

Driver’s lack of adherence to the two-second distance rule is particularly negative in the winter. Data shows that crashes caused by cars driving too close to vehicles in front and failing to stop in time increase by a quarter.

Furthermore, more than 10% of rear-end crashes lead to concertina shunts, involving at least three vehicles.

Data from the Department of Transport (DfT) appears to support this. It finds that a fifth of car drivers drive unsafely and irresponsibly by ignoring the Highway Code’s two-second rule.

Proof’s in the driving

Tim Rankin, managing director of AA Accident Assist, says the change to the autumn and winter  weather just exacerbates poor driving issues.

“We’re coming to the time of year where playing fast and loose with a safe distance from the vehicle in front is much more likely to end in disaster” .

Rankin highlights the issues of being too close to the vehicle in front by stating that “there is more than a one in 10 chance that the impact will lead to a shunt down a line of cars”.

“Applying the handbrake when stationary is the companion to following the two second rule. Both prevent needless damage and injury, particularly whiplash and worse for older and more fragile car occupants.”


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