You’d be an extremely lucky driver if you hadn’t experienced tailgating while driving in New South Wales (or pretty much anywhere, really).
We’ve covered the dangers of tailgating before – this blog from last month explains that in this state alone, there are more than 10,000 rear-end crashes every year.
But why are people tailgating? Are drivers in such a rush that they’re willing to put the lives of others (and themselves) at risk?
Just recently on a drive from Sydney to Wollongong, I thought I’d momentarily entered a Steven King movie when I found a massive truck, high beams flashing wildly, bear down on me in the left-hand lane and almost swallow me and my family.
With the cruise control set on exactly the speed limit (110km/h), I was following a steady stream of Friday night traffic and had nowhere to go.
Why was that truck driver in such a hurry? Was he running behind schedule? Was he desperate to get home from work? Or did he just like to intimidate other drivers in his big rig?
I’ll never know because I didn’t get a chance to chat with him, thankfully. If you are the victim of aggressive tailgating, don’t intimidate the driver. Call the police if you fear you’re in danger, or simply let them pass if you have the chance.
Of course you can switch out ‘truck’ with just about any vehicle and it’s likely to be a familiar story to many who use the road. It’s one that is in no way limited to heavy vehicles.
It’s also not just on highways that tailgating is a problem – it’s just that the speeds involved substantially increase the level of danger.
But we experience forms of this behaviour every day. At the lowest end it’s annoying and dangerous. At the extreme end it can be deadly.
Have you experienced tailgating on the road and how often? Who do you find are the main offenders and why do you think they are in such a hurry?