UK drivers breaching Highway Code on major roads as millions of motorists risk huge fines

cars in traffic on motorway

Tailgating is when a driver moves behind another vehicle without leaving sufficient distance to stop

Hemma Visavadia

By Hemma Visavadia

Published: 29/05/2024

- 12:10

Updated: 29/05/2024

- 15:30

Cases of tailgating in the UK is rising as more drivers continue practicing bad road behaviour

The number of drivers tailgating on major UK roads has worsened with more than half of motorists deliberately ignoring the “two second gap” rule.

A survey by the AA found that cases of tailgating have gotten worse in the UK with three fifths of all car collisions occurring at junctions where poor driving habits are present.

The research comes as drivers flag poor road behaviours as increasing and causing danger to fellow drivers.

Drivers surveyed highlighted speeding as another offence on the rise with 53 per cent of motorists concerned by this.

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Traffic warning

More than half of motorists deliberately ignore the “two-second gap” rule when driving


Middle lane hogging was raised by 52 per cent of drivers while overtaking on the inside and left was a problem for 51 per cent of surveyed adults.

Road rage was a problem for 46 per cent of drivers while mobile phone use was also on the rise with 44 per cent of drivers concerned.

Tim Rankin, managing director of AA Accident Assist, explained that drivers are worried about the standard of driving slipping.

As well as making sure we drive responsibly, he said drivers also need a more visible police presence to keep those “willing to misbehave in check”.

Drivers who are caught tailgating could receive fines of up to £100 if they are found to hog the middle lane on a motorway.

Driving in the middle lane is only for overtaking or turning right, but in recent years, it has become the norm to travel the whole journey on this route.

A recent survey by National Highways found that nearly a quarter of drivers admitted to tailgating at least occasionally.

Tailgating occurs when a driver moves behind another vehicle without leaving sufficient distance to stop, which can force the motorist in front to switch lanes, allowing the other driver to stay in the middle lane.

Rankin added that the AA was not shocked that tailgating comes at the top of the list of behaviours worsening on UK roads.

As part of their Motoring Manifesto to combat bad driving traits, the AA is calling for more road traffic officers to improve the standard of driving on UK roads.

Rankin said more traffic officers will be able to stop bad driving practices in real-time, with more visible police presence on the roads also acting as a deterrent.

He said: “As we head into summer, we encourage drivers to allow more space between themselves and other vehicles.



Drivers who are caught tailgating could receive fines of up to £100


“Creating at least a two-second gap can help prevent crashes but could also reduce outbursts of road rage.”

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