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APIL's Injury Prevention Day asks us to back off

View profile for Aimee Brown
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The Association of Personal Injury Lawyers (APIL) will be hosting their own Injury Prevention Day on Wednesday 16th August.  The focus for 2017 will be on raising awareness of the dangers of tailgating, and encouraging safer driving to reduce the number of low-speed collisions on UK roads.  Several of the Personal Injury team at Warner Goodman are members of APIL, and here Aimee Brown highlights why this campaign is so important.

“Back Off” – the dangers of tailgating

APIL’s Back Off campaign originally launched in 2013, and on 16th August this year it will re-launch with a new animated video.  “We hear all the time about accidents caused by driving too fast, but there is no real discussion about the accidents that can happen at low speeds,” begins Aimee.  “One of the main dangers of travelling too slow is tailgating.  Research from the Highways’ Agency shows that tailgating is a contributing factor in more than one third of all crashes on our roads; by driving too close to the car in front, motorists leave themselves too little time to react in an emergency.”

Research released in March of this year from Confused.com shows that 49% of Britain’s drivers admit to tailgating.  82% state that they have been a victim of tailgating, with 27% saying it happens at least once a week. 

“With this research also showing that one in five drivers have been involved in an accident or a near miss due to being tailgated, this is a serious problem that could have devastating consequences,” continues Aimee.  “We all lead busy lives and some believe that tailgating will encourage the driver in front of them to speed up.  It is more likely however that they will see it as intimidating and therefore slow down, or they will get angry themselves.  This is clearly a recipe for disaster as they will become distracted and so not be aware of hazards around them.” 

What are correct stopping distances?

It has been suggested that another reason why drivers are tailgating is due to a lack of awareness over appropriate stopping distances, with 79% of those surveyed by Confused.com revealing that they do not know the correct distance to leave between them and the car in front.  “Knowing your stopping distances is vital to reducing the risk of an accident,” explains Aimee.  “Generally, you should leave a two second gap between your car and the one in front of you, making extra allowances in wet or icy weather, when it should be four seconds and ten seconds respectively.  Larger vehicles will need a longer time to stop and so should be given the appropriate space on the roads.”

Under laws introduced in 2013, people caught tailgating could be faced with a £100 fine and three penalty points.  “Tailgating will never achieve the outcome you are looking for, and will put yourself and others in danger,” concludes Aimee.  “We see too often the consequences of collisions on our roads, and wholeheartedly support APIL’s Back Off campaign to help raise awareness of how people can take simple steps to stay safe.”

APIL is an organisation made up of personal injury professionals who are committed to campaigning for reform to improve the law for injured people.  To find out more about APIL, visit their website here, or follow them on Injury Prevention Day by using the hashtag #IPDay17.  To find out more about how Warner Goodman can help you following a road traffic collision, contact Aimee or the team on 0800 91 92 30 or email injuryteam@warnergoodman.co.uk

ENDS

This is for information purposes only and is no substitute for, and should not be interpreted as, legal advice.  All content was correct at the time of publishing and we cannot be held responsible for any changes that may invalidate this article.