By Joseph Keith
A West Yorkshire motorway has been revealed as having the highest volume of tailgating vehicles in England, according to a study compiled by Direct Line.
The stretch of motorway – where the M1 and A1M meet at J47 southbound near Leeds – sees tens of thousands of vehicles travelling along it every day.
Tailgating, or close following, occurrs when a driver is too close to the vehicle in front and below the minimum two second following rule recommended by the Highway Code.
Rob Miles, director of car insurance at Direct Line, commented: “Often people can find themselves too close to other vehicles on motorways as they rush to their destination or try to keep up with traffic flow. We’d urge drivers to keep their stopping distances in mind, as these are often forgotten in times of haste or frustration.
“Drivers should aim to always have at least a two-second gap – over 60 metres – between themselves and the car in front to keep safe on the motorway and avoid facing the on-the-spot fines for tailgating that were introduced last year.”
More than 1,700 injuries, 15 per cent of all injury collisions on Highways Agency roads are caused by tailgating, including around five fatalities a year and young drivers are the most likely to be involved in tailgating accidents, with around 37 per cent of these collisions caused by drivers under the age of 30.
Sergeant Adrian Newman, of West Yorkshire Police’s Roads Policing Unit, said: “Tailgating on this stretch of road, as on any road, is dangerous. When driving at speed, motorists should always leave plenty of space between their vehicle and the vehicle in front.
“This is something that should be second nature to all drivers. Any motorist who is caught breaking the law in this way can expect to be prosecuted.”
The study uses data gathered from nearly 6,500 traffic data loop sites on the Highways Agency Road Network, from March 11 to March 18 2014.