Report says too many drivers tailgate or break speed limitsDo you drive too close to the car in front? A new survey suggests that two-thirds of us do, ignoring the ‘two-second’ rule. And too many of us routinely break the speed limits, driving at 35mph or more in town and at 80mph on motorways.

At-work drivers are the worst offenders, according to the research, just published by motoring organisation Green Flag and road safety charity Brake. Three-quarters of those on the move for their jobs admitted driving too fast, while for all drivers the figures were just under half. And six in 10 business drivers said they drove too close while for all drivers the total reduced to four in 10.

Brake says the Government should crack down on firms who encourage staff to complete trips as quickly as they can. The charity says employers have a ‘duty of care’ under current at-work laws to encourage staff to drive within the speed limits. A new offence of corporate manslaughter enters the statute books next month (April) and Brake wants the courts to use this where speeding or driving too close results in a death.

Tailgating – following too close – contributed to 54 road deaths in 2006 and is more of a problem on motorways than other roads. The Highway Code quotes minimum safe stopping distances but, as a general rule, drivers should travel at least two seconds behind the next car. To gauge this, notice when the car ahead passes a fixed point, such as a sign or bridge support. Start counting. If you reach the same point before you reach ‘two’, it’s time to ease back and increase the gap.

Stephen Jury


May 15, 2008