More than 40% of drivers are guilty, according to a new report produced by the National Motorway Month Group, which includes the RAC Foundation and the Highways Agency.
The Highways Agency recently reported that tailgating is a contributory factor in one third of all personal injury accidents on motorways and is also a major cause of road rage.
The latest findings have prompted the group to call for drivers to obey the two-second rule when driving.
The RAC Foundation said the findings of the report were ‘frightening’.
Executive director Edmund King added: ‘Tailgating limits the ability of motorists to react swiftly to events further along the motorway, and significantly increases the chances of a pile-up. We would urge drivers to obey the ‘two-second rule’ when driving and adjust their distance according to local weather conditions.’
Transport Minister David Jamieson said: ‘We are constantly striving to design and deliver safer motorways but motorists need to take care, follow the road rules and use common sense. Don’t tailgate, don’t drive when tired and don’t hog the middle lane – that way the roads are safer.’
The National Motorway Month campaign will run throughout August and covers issues including tailgating, driver fatigue, driver safety through roadworks, nervous drivers and poor lane discipline.
Highways Agency variable message signs will reinforce the campaign message with ‘Keep Your Distance’ displayed on several sites across the country.