How often do you drive along a dual carriage way and have vehicles overtaking you, travelling at or above the speed limit, and driving ridiculously close together?
Like the two cars overtaking the white van in the photo below – the one behind is way too close.
The stopping distance at 70 mph is over 300 feet – but sometimes whole groups of vehicles go hurtling past at speeds higher than this with only a few feet between them. Literally. Even on wet roads with poor visibility.
And it’s not just car drivers – massive trucks are often just as bad. And goodness knows what their stopping distance is.
If you are driving too close to the car in front of you, and there is something lying in the road ahead, you won’t see it until you are on top of it.
Or if something happens to the vehicle in front of you (or the one in front of that).
Or if an animal runs into the road.
Any sudden change at all in the traffic ahead of you and you won’t know until it is too late. Just because the last however many journeys have been OK, it doesn’t mean this one will be.
And it won’t be just you that gets hurt.
Tailgating is also dangerous because it can intimidate and distract the person in front of you. They are likely to be watching and worrying about you rather than concentrating on the road ahead.
And really – what is the point? If there is a whole stream of traffic in front of you, where are you going to go?
Driving close together just means that people are more likely to brake suddenly, causing traffic jams to build up. And then we all take longer to get to where we are going.
The technology exists to prevent vehicles from getting too close to whatever is in front of them, and surely it won’t be long until this is introduced. Until then, think about the consequences if something does go wrong.