Drivers are being warned to back off after research found that 56% admit to driving too close to the car in front, a trait that led to 7% of the accidents in Britain last year. And 90% of drivers under-estimated the distance required to stop a car.
The investigation by Kwik-Fit also found that one in 10 cars have a tread depth below the legal limit of 1.6mm.
David White, Kwik-Fit’s customer service director, said: ‘The technology and stopping power of today’s cars can lull you into a false sense of security and any motorists who think they’ve forgotten recommended stopping distances should revisit the Highway Code to refresh their memory.
‘But it’s also vital that they check the condition of their tyres. No matter how powerful your brakes or how sharp your reactions, if you’re driving on tyres that should really be in retirement it will take you longer to stop, particularly in wet and wintry conditions.’
Paul Smith, founder of road safety campaign Safe Speed, said the emphasis should be on distance judgment, rather than knowledge of stopping distances in feet or metres.
‘We can’t jump out at 70mph with a tape measure to check if we had time to stop,’ he said.
‘The 56% of drivers admitting to tailgating reveals how much room there is for improvement in road safety through driver education.’