‘Don’t be a space invader’ urges Highways England’s new tailgating campaign

Written by Ellie

A new campaign aimed at reducing tailgating has been launched by Highways England.

One in eight road casualties are caused by people who drive too close to the vehicle in front, with more than 100 people killed or seriously injured each year.

In the majority of case, tailgating is unintentional and the product of drivers simply not being aware that they are dangerously invading another driver’s space.

As a result, the message leading Highways England’s new campaign is ‘Don’t be a space invader’, accompanied by graphics and fonts referencing the classic arcade game.

Tailgating is the biggest single bugbear that drivers have about other road users with almost nine in ten people saying they have either been tailgated or witnessed it. Additionally, more than one in four drivers admit to tailgating.

The campaign has won the backing of former Formula 1 world champion Nigel Mansell, who said: “Tailgating is a driving habit I utterly deplore. Not only is it aggressive and intimidating, but it can lead to a crash with a tragic outcome.

“There is absolutely no upside to it – you will not get to your destination faster, you are not a skilled driver for doing it, and you are putting so many innocent people at risk.”

Richard Leonard, head of road safety at Highways England, urged drivers to stay safe by staying back.

“If you get too close to the car in front, you won’t be able to react and stop in time if they suddenly brake,” he said.

“Tailgating makes the driver in front feel targeted and victimised, distracting their attention from the road ahead and making them more likely to make a mistake.”

Ellie Baker, brand manager at Fuel Card Services, added: “What’s more, tailgating can create ‘phantom’ traffic jams via the ripple effect of sharp braking – a leading cause of accidents.”

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Posted on 22nd September 2018

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