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RAA urges tailgating motorists to back off

Monday, 8th Jul 2019

More than 3000 motorists were caught putting themselves and other road users at risk by tailgating last year, figures obtained by RAA show.

This included more than 800 who were driving dangerously close to the car in front of them last winter, at a time of year when wet conditions increase the chance of rear end collisions, according to RAA’s insurance data.

RAA Insurance Claims Manager Hayley Cain said it was disappointing that risky driving had resulted in thousands of motorists being fined or cautioned for tailgating in each of the past three years.

“The number of drivers caught tailgating each year is very concerning because it is dangerous behaviour, and contributes to the fact that rear-end crashes are the most common type of collisions on our roads,’’ Ms Cain said.

“It’s important for everyone’s safety on the road that drivers keep a safe distance from the vehicle in front of them, and motorists must be aware that in wet conditions they need to allow a greater breaking distance.’’

Ms Cain warned tailgating drivers they not only face a fine of $394, but from an insurance point of view, the driver who rear-ends another vehicle is considered at fault.

She said there were different reasons why motorists tailgated.

“Unfortunately, there are some drivers who deliberately tailgate because they think it will force the motorist in front to go faster,’’ she said.

“Other drivers who bunch up in congested traffic can find themselves unintentionally tailgating and potentially becoming involved in a pile up.

“Whatever the reason, there is no excuse for tailgating.”

RAA reminds motorists that Australian Road Rules require motorists to drive a sufficient distance behind a vehicle travelling in front of the driver so the driver can, if necessary, stop safely to avoid a collision with the vehicle.

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