Stay safe stay back

title Stay safe - stay back

Driving isn’t a game. Tailgating causes crashes – and you don’t get an extra life in the real world.

In fact, tailgating is the biggest single bugbear that drivers have about other motorway users. Nearly 9 out of 10 (87%) drivers say they’ve experienced or witnessed it.

“Tailgating is a factor in 1 in 8 collisions on the strategic road network.” *


Tailgating is very common on our roads and has many serious consequences. In our survey 25% of drivers admitted to driving too close to the car in front, making it difficult to stop in an emergency
man with a bandaged head

1 in 8

Crashes on our roads

Tailgating is a factor in 1 in 8 crashes on the strategic road network

a women witness


Have witnessed

A vehicle being driven too close to the vehicle in front.

What emotions were felt

Card image cap

46% felt scared

What witnesses felt about drivers driving too close.
Card image cap

46% felt angry

What witnesses felt about drivers driving too close.
Card image cap

31% felt frustrated

What witnesses felt about drivers driving too close.
title could you be a space invader?


We associate tailgating with aggressive, ‘own the road’ speed-merchants, trying to intimidate other drivers to get out of their way.

The Highway Code says you should “allow at least a two second gap between you and the vehicle in front on roads carrying faster moving traffic”. The two seconds are made up of the time needed for thinking and stopping. And when it’s raining you need to at least double that gap.

So, if you don’t leave a minimum two second gap, you could be putting yourself and others in danger.

Nigel Mansell, Former British Formula One World Champion Indy Car World Series winner

Nigel Mansell, CBE, 
Former  British Formula One World Champion, President of IAM RoadSmart

"There is absolutely no upside to tailgating – 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. So I very much back this campaign to highlight the dangers of tailgating."
Nigel Mansell, Former Formula 1 world champion, President of IAM RoadSmart



imaage of brand dnt be a space invader

stay safe.

Tailgating makes other drivers feel intimidated, scared and bullied. While it may not be intentional by the driver behind, to those in the car in front, it feels aggressive and personal.

Some drivers readily admit to tailgating but wouldn’t dream of drink-driving or using a handheld mobile phone. Many of them think and say they are really good drivers

Drivers should stay aware of how dangerous or intimidating their driving could be.

stay back

Driving safely if you are tailgated or want to avoid being tailgated

What you should do to avoid being tailgated

  • Just drive normally:
    The key is to not let the tailgater's poor behaviour negatively influence your own driving. Simply continue to drive safely and cautiously, aware but not affected by their presence.
  • Allow them to overtake:
    Keep a steady speed so they may overtake. Alternatively, pull to the side of the road, or turn off at a petrol station, but only if it is safe to do so.
  • Clearly signal:
    Ensure the tailgater has a clear idea of your intentions by signalling early and changing your speed well in advance of a turn off.
  • Keep left:
    Keep in the left-hand lane unless overtaking. Some tailgaters argue that ‘middle-lane hoggers’ cause tailgating. Don’t give tailgaters an excuse.

What you shouldn’t do

  • Don’t speed up:
    Generally this will encourage the tailgater to speed up behind you. Continue to travel at a safe speed. Do not allow the pressure from the tailgater to influence you to drive unsafely.
  • Don’t slow down:
    Intentionally slowing down to irritate the close follower or tapping the brake lights can trigger road rage and cause more dangerous scenarios to arise.
  • Don’t stare in the rear-view mirror:
    It can be tempting to stare at the driver behind but this can cause you to lose focus on what’s in front of you.

Please be aware that we are no longer supplying car and van bumper stickers.

*Overall proportion of collisions recorded using STATS19 data between 2009 and 2019.