Why tailgating is wrong?
Tailgating is following a car in front of you with less than 2s in South Australia and most of the world and 3s in some other states.
The rule on tailgating explains that the figure of 2s is scientifically based it is a distance you travel at any speed for 2 seconds, and it is only a reasonable expectation that you will manage to stop without crashing with car in front. This translate to about 33m at 60km/h. As most cars on photos do drive just a bit to close, you may notice how close drive some “idiot” drivers. The photos are taken from the actual research I’ve conducted on the 100km/h road. In some countries where also 2s rule is accepted, the government take a serious steps against drivers breaking 1s distance. In South Australia government does not care about tailgating at all. Well, the senior police officer in the Commissioner office have told me trying to prove me wrong that when car on freeway follow me 200mm it is still ok. Other police officers also have told me that they refuse to honor this rule and they make as they are pleased what is acceptable and what is not. Police routinely tailgate others this same way as common drivers.
Why it is wrong?
It’s deadly to cyclists, pedestrians, motorcyclists and extremely traumatic to anyone and also very stressful to the tailgator him/herself!
When someone stands at less than 30cm away from you, one does not touch you but it is not acceptable unless your are seriously in love with that person. Normally it is accepted that you stand at distance of stretched arm. Similarly is the case with cars. It is wrong when another car is close behind you full stop. But scientists and road safety specialists have found that 2s or even 3s is minimum relatively only safe distance at any speed.
So it is not courtieous, nor safe to follow another car too close. It is offensive and dangerous habit.
I do blame for tailgating and all the consequences, the government because they issue with licence even when drivers:
Were not screened for mental suitability and mental stability
were not screened for general medical fitness
were not adequately trained as drivers
When driver hold license to drive, who can tell one that he can’t drive? So they drive as they know, but since they were not trained, they cannot drive properly.
Government who issues licence must take all the blame.
Government tell us that speed kills. If it was true all the police chasing offenders on the streets were dead. They are not because speed is only one of the factors. Government say those lies to society because they have it as an excuse to raise revenue almost fraudulantly.
Tailgating is clearly multifactorial dangerous behaviour, usually integrating speeding as well. Pile up of many cars is typical example of consequences of tailgating. Lots of trauma is not published in media because nobody records near misses. Police is not interested even when you provide them with evidence. For cyclists tailgating is very dramatic…
How do I know that government is not interested in tailgating? I experience it on the roads, it is well visible but as a road safety campaigner, I’ve requested the information from ministers, from road transport department, and when they had nothing specyfic I’ve turned to universtity which has a team for road safety research. The very first publication I’ve looked at, was tailgating. And nothing specific was there. I’ve decided to devise and conduct my own private research. When done, to my surprise the head of the research team refused to cooperate and take for free my data and my method and improve it. Same with other university and college dedicated to road safety. Minister is also not interested. Why than they are so determined to waste public money and not produce results?
As a general rule for the government: there is no business in solving social problems, but plenty of business in maintaining those problems.
Simply they want to keep raising the revenue from speeding and dangerous drivers rather than educating them and punishing and in general solving the problem.
Well, my research data show that from 55 to over 77% of all drivers who follow another car do tailgate. In fact depending on situation, this figure comes close to 100%. Somehow government is not keen of solving it. It’s a good question, why government allow this to be such a big problem?
When police refuse to honor the rule, refuse to punish driver for violation of this rule, and themselves routinely tailgate, no wonder that we have so much tailgating.
Untrained drivers also drive according not to rules but to driving culture – what they see on the road.
Oh, yes there are some intelligent drivers who regardless of government, do try to drive sensibly. Majority however drive dangerously.
Why society should be interested in stamping out tailgating?
- to avoid crashes
- to avoid trauma
- to avoid stress
- to improve traffic flow
That’s correct, tailgator is much more stressed than a good non tailgating driver and a good driver often arrive sooner to a destination without speeding than speeding tailgator fixed to observe only the tail lamps of one in front of him rather than whole traffic. There are many other reasons why tailgating is not good.
Why most tailgators today are women? Mainly young women? Simply because they were not trained adequately.
To add to the problem are the elderly and otherwise inable drivers who drive slowly and/or without confidence. This only frustrate younger mentally unstable but fast drivers. They react with emotions rather than use training which they lack. Migrants do bring with them bad habits. Just go to many Asian cities and see road haos. They bring that chaos with them and our government does not train them adequately to proper standard.
Separate page will deal with more specific reasons which allowed the epidemy of tailgating to develop. They include road safety section of SA road transport absolutely rejecting any cooperation or action to improve, universities and colleges paid to make research failing to produce results and refusing to cooperate, police is undertrained and also not interested in public input nor in lobbying government, legal industry never deliver justice. In fact none of them is allowed to criticize government nor lobby. Ministers – we have ministers, but … Perhaps it is better to ask the question: Is that tailgating epidemic so large despite or because of government corruption?
Doesn’t uni research team or police have right to refuse to cooperate with public, with road safety campaigners? Don’t they have right to develop their methods?
Whatever their answer is, what they (whole system) have done to improve? What they done to even assess the extent of the problem?
When between 55% and up to 100% of drivers do tailgate, this is an extremely serious problem. Ministers and department and police and researchers do not know, do refuse to accept and do refuse to enforce the rules. It must be ANARCHY and an open corruption!
Overall the government is not interested in road safety at all only in our money.
Somebody have said: the government is only as bad as we allow one to be!