Our latest research suggests more than 13 million1 UK drivers have tailgated another vehicle at some point.
This is despite the fact that almost all drivers (86%) strongly or somewhat agree that tailgating is an all-too-common problem on UK roads.
Our survey2 to UK motorists found one-in-three drivers – the equivalent to 13.4 million nationally – admitted that they have tailgated another vehicle at some point.
Tailgating, where a vehicle follows too closely to the vehicle in front, is illegal and classed as a careless driving offence. It can land drivers with a fine of £100 and three penalty points on their licence. However, the consequences could be more drastic if the tailgating results in a serious accident, including driving bans or even imprisonment.
Our research found young drivers were twice as likely to tailgate than the average for all age groups, with 63% admitting to doing so. This compares to just 19% of over 65-year-olds.
Regionally, Londoners are by far the most likely to tailgate, with 57% admitting to doing so and perhaps implying that tailgating is more common in urban environments.
The results also showed motorists believe BMW drivers are the most likely to tailgate, followed closely by Audi drivers.
The full breakdown of results are stored in the dropdown below. Just select which question you'd like to see, plus whether you'd like to see it split by age, region or gender. You can also see what percentage of motorists associate each make of car with tailgating.
For responses to Question 1, all percentages have been rounded to 1 decimal place, so some may be subject to rounding errors and not equal 100% exactly.
Jessica Potts, Head of Marketing at BookMyGarage.com, commented: “Tailgating is evidently a big problem on UK roads – it’s likely every driver can remember a time when they’ve been the victim of it.
“Drivers should always make sure they leave plenty of space between them and the vehicle in front to reduce the risk of rear-end collisions. Likewise, drivers in front should avoid frustrating other motorists in a way that encourages them to tailgate in the first place – for example, by keeping in the left-hand lane on dual carriageways and motorways unless overtaking.
“It’s interesting to see such a large disparity in the results between younger and older drivers. Despite being the most inexperienced motorists on the road, it’s concerning that younger drivers appear to be far more likely to tailgate.”
The highway code recommends drivers maintain at least a two-second gap between them and the vehicle in front, which should be doubled on wet roads and up to 10-times greater in icy conditions.
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- There are approximately 42 million driving licence holders in Great Britain and Northern Ireland. Sources: https://data.gov.uk/dataset/d0be1ed2-9907-4ec4-b552-c048f6aec16a/gb-driving-licence-data (Table DRL0101) and https://www.northernireland.gov.uk/news/publication-dfi-driver-vehicle-operator-and-enforcement-statistics-2020-21-quarter-three
- Independent survey conducted on behalf of BookMyGarage.com to 2,000 UK motorists