Tailgating is one of the most common causes of van accidents on UK roads according to Volkswagen Commercial Vehicles.
Department for Transport figures show that there were 4,256 accidents reported as vehicles ‘following too close’, causing 6,184 injuries, including 19 fatalities. Research by Volkswagen found that 8% of these cases involved light commercial vehicles – equal to 10 injuries per week.
Vans driving on A-roads are most susceptible to accidents with 55% of all tailgating incidents happening on these routes. Drivers found guilty of tailgating face a £100 fine and three penalty points.
In the worst cases, tailgating can result in a driving ban or even a prison sentence. The issue of ‘following too close’ is ranked ahead of speeding, drink-driving and poor weather conditions when it comes to triggering collisions – and only behind van drivers failing to look and incorrectly judging the speed of other vehicles.
These accidents also force vans into dealerships for repairs. Downtime costs fleets an average of £550 a day per van says Volkswagen. Neil Greig, Director of Policy and Research at IAM RoadSmart, said: “It is in everyone’s interest that drivers follow the two second rule and leave a safe space in front of them.”