Wednesday 16 August 2017 marked the Association of Personal Injury Lawyers (APIL)’s “Injury Prevention Day”. This year APIL’s campaign is centred around encouraging safer driving on UK roads, in turn reducing the number of both low and high speed collisions.

In the UK, we have 50% more traffic on our roads than the European average.

To mark the day, APIL is relaunching its long-running anti-tailgating campaign “Back Off” with a new animated video and graphics to help put stopping distances into perspective for motorists.

Tailgating & Stopping Distances

Drivers are being encouraged to remind themselves of stopping distances and to allow extra space between themselves and the vehicle in front.

APIL have said “Some injuries and subsequent insurance claims could easily be avoided if drivers backed off and left a bit more room. Driving too close, or “tailgating”, is a bad habit of which many drivers are guilty. It is incredibly dangerous as well as antisocial, and can be really intimidating for other drivers”.

Polls previously conducted show that many drivers are unaware of the stopping distances and fail to consider the “thinking distance” before the brakes are even applied.

According to the Highway Code, if a driver is travelling at 30mph the typical stopping distance is 23 metres including thinking time, which equates to 6 car lengths. At 60 miles per hour the stopping distance is 73 metres and the thinking distances is 18 metres.

Braking distances are much longer for larger and heavier vehicles and in wet or icy conditions.

The Road Casualties Annual Report states that the most common factor which contributed to accidents was drivers failing to look properly.

Sanctions

The Government has introduced sanctions to address drivers’ careless actions.

In August 2013, fixed penalty fines of up to £100 and 3 points on the driver’s licence were introduced for motoring offences including tailgating and well as hogging the middle lane of the motorway.

Whilst this is welcomed and highlights that careless driving will not be tolerated much more needs to be done to raise awareness of road safety amongst drivers.