When it comes to fines associated with tailgating, research shows that one in three drivers are unaware there are official penalties. These can range from a caution, referral to driver improvement scheme, £100 fine and three penalty points, a driving ban or even prison.
While many drivers will have experienced being the victim of tailgating, fewer see themselves as the perpetrator. There seems to be a double standard: a lot of drivers are happy to get somebody else to speed up or move over in this manner, but don’t like it when it’s done to them. According to the police, many motorists inadvertently tailgate due to a lack of awareness of the correct distance to leave between your car and the one in front. This is why the ‘two second rule’ is so important in keeping a safe distance between your car and the one in-front. To check you are following the rule, simply pick a roadside landmark (like a sign, lamp post or tree) and when the vehicle in front of you passes it, start counting ‘one thousand and one, one thousand and two’. If you pass the landmark before you finish counting then you need to drop back and stop tailgating.