We're supporting APIL's Injury Prevention Day #IPDay17

by Carly Philp

This year the Association of Personal Injury Lawyers (APIL) is focusing on safer driving practices.  Today they have re-launched their ‘Back Off’ campaign which aims to
prevent the number of needless injuries caused by tailgating on our roads.  

Every day millions of drivers tailgate.  Following a vehicle too closely can be an accident waiting to happen - if that vehicle suddenly stops your chances of avoiding a rear-end collision are significantly reduced.  Tailgating might happen because a driver simply doesn’t realise they are driving too closely.  Other times, it is triggered by impatience or road rage.  Apart from being very irritating, tailgating is also very dangerous and can have fatal consequences.  Convictions for dangerous driving can result in fines, disqualification and even custodial sentences.  

Top tips if you are guilty of tailgating:  

  • Always keep a safe distance between you and the vehicle in front of you.  

A safe distance is usually 3 seconds.  You can judge this by using a fixed point on the road such as a sign, marking or lamppost.  Once the vehicle in front passes that point it should take you 3 seconds to reach the same point.  You should double this distance when the driving conditions are particularly bad, such as when it is foggy, icy or raining heavily.

  • Find a safe way to pass.

Do not be tempted to tailgate yourself.  Set your pride aside.  It is better to arrive late than not to arrive at all.    

Top tips if you are being tailgated:

  • Drive in the left hand lane and use the right hand lane for overtaking only.

Tailgaters are often in a hurry and wish to overtake slower moving traffic.  If the left hand lane is clear, move into it when it is safe to do so and allow the tailgater to pass you.  Engaging in a war of wills is a very dangerous game.

  • Take defensive measures to avoid an accident.

If you are being tailgated drive at the speed limit and keep a safe distance between you and the vehicle in front.  This will avoid a multi-vehicle incident should the worst happen.  Failure to do so could even make you liable for any damage or injury caused to the driver in front.  If you are far enough behind, the chances of you being pushed into the vehicle in front are drastically reduced.    

Maintain a consistent speed.

Do not pump your brakes or suddenly slow down.  This could indicate to the other driver that you are intent on blocking them and aggravate them further.  

As an APIL member it is my role to ensure that accident victims receive access to justice and fair compensation.  However, I would undoubtedly prefer for needless injuries to be prevented where possible.  This can be achieved by respecting your fellow road users and observing a safe driving distance.   #IPDay17.  

Watch the 'Back Off' campaign video below