During a couple of drives recently I was struck by how closely some drivers either follow me or other drivers. Tailgating/following too closely seems to be an acceptable driving behaviour for some road users.
Drivers who have taken part in my on road fleet training courses will know that I am a big believer in developing following distances beyond the two second rule. Drivers will have their own thoughts on this. However, my rationale is simple. Even with modern brakes and the various electronics on board such as ABS and traction control, stopping relies on the driver seeing the problem and then managing it.
Following too closely results in drivers becoming reactive and not proactive.
The reality of modern driving for business, is still many driving miles and hours sat in a car. No driver can stay on the driving task for 100% of the time. It has always made sense to me to drop further back from the vehicles in front to compensate for the times when we are distracted, more tired and less focused. Of course adequate breaks, route planning, over night stops all have an important part to pay in safe driving.
Perhaps I will look in more depth at the ways we can manage our driving to stay safe. But back to the original question: Tailgating - safe driving or bullying? Think about this.
Are you aware of how much room you give drivers in front? What do you think about drivers who are holding you up by not overtaking other vehicles, not driving at the speed limit or beyond? Do you get stressed and tense? How do you feel when drivers position themselves 3 metres off your bumper? Are you a good driver? How would you feel if other drivers tailgated a family member? Have you ever asked members of your family how tailgating affects their driving confidence? Makes them speed up, intimidates them, forces them into situations they do not want to be in.......
This week ask your partner/children with driving licences what they think about tailgating and how it makes them feel...then reflect upon your own driving.