RMG/CWU Road Safety Campaign – ‘Driving At A Safe Distance’ – “Don’t Break The 2-Second Rule” W/C Monday 10 September 2018
Background and Importance of this Road Safety Communications Campaign:
Driving too close to the vehicle in front of you is dangerous making it very unlikely you would be able to avoid a collision if the driver in front were to brake suddenly or in an emergency.
No one likes to be tailgated, yet millions of people do it every day. Some do it because they are running late or impatient, while others tailgate out of spite or “road rage.” Still others follow too closely out of sheer ignorance of its dangers.
Tailgating is by far one of the most dangerous habits a driver can pick up. According to a study from ‘Drivecam Inc’, a global driver risk management company, drivers are at the highest risk of rear-ending a vehicle when they are following less than 2 seconds behind the vehicle in front of them. When drivers have to stop abruptly, tailgaters are often left with little or no time to brake. Following too closely to the vehicle in front of you is asking for trouble, so drivers need to be aware of the risks so they can avoid a tailgating accident.
Is tailgating illegal?
Tailgating is a dangerous driving offence which can end with serious consequences. Tailgating falls under the careless driving offence and drivers prosecuted for tailgating can be fined a £100 charge and have three penalty points added on their licence. In the worst cases, tailgating can result in a driving ban or even a prison sentence if a serious collision occurs as a result. However, it was recently revealed that many UK drivers are ignorant of the fact that tailgating is a fineable offence. Research by ‘confused.com’ revealed that almost half of UK drivers admitted to being guilty of tailgating, with reasons being cited as other motorists driving too slowly. Tailgating is offence in which one motorist drives too closely behind the car in front. It was also revealed that 79 per cent of Brits were not aware of the correct distance to be behind a driver on the motorway. By driving too close to the vehicle in front, drivers are leaving themselves too little time to react in an emergency.
Facts and Figures:
• In 2017/18 Royal Mail were involved in 655 reported accidents where the primary cause was considered to be driving too close to the rear of the vehicle in front. This equates to 10% of the year’s accident claims.
• The cost associated to these incidents was 16% of Royal Mail Group’s overall claims spending for that year at £2.55 million.
• Drivers are being reminded to keep their distance as road safety charity Brake reveals that 6 in 10 drivers admit to risky tailgating.
• 14% of casualties on our roads are caused by people tailgating.
Advice For All Royal Mail Group Drivers (Royal Mail, Parcelforce, RMSS, RMPFS, Engineering, Fleet etc.)
• Keep alert and pay attention to the road and other road users, good and bad.
• Leave at least a two second gap between your vehicle and the vehicle in front.
• If you are being tailgated you should:
◦ Slow down – ease your foot off the accelerator – this enables you to control the speed of the vehicle behind and then let the driver pass as soon as possible.
◦ move into the inside lane, if it is safe to do so – make sure you apply the two second rule to any vehicle when travelling behind a vehicle in front.
The 2-Second Rule
• As the car in front passes a fixed point, such as a sign or a bridge, start to say ‘only a fool breaks the 2-second rule’ or ‘one thousand and one’, ‘one thousand and two’ etc., in normal talking rate.
• Adjust your driving to the road and conditions remember that in bad road conditions (rain, snow, and ice) you’ll need more time to stop so allow double the distance and leave at least a 4 seconds gap.
ASR Activity Plan and Checklist
By carrying out the following activities during w/c 10 September 2018, ASRs can help to raise the profile of Road Safety and keep our driver members safe.
ASR’s are to be fully involved and consulted on joint RSW activities
Agree with your Operational Managers, which units you will jointly support during this Road Safety Campaign, and:-
• Assist the Front Line Manager in delivering the WTLL
• Carry out Spot Checks and Safety Inspections
• Check that drivers have received the WTLL briefing on Driving at a Safe Distance?
• Do they understand the dangers or driving too close to the vehicle in front?
• Have they seen the posters about the 2-seconds rule?
• Are they aware of what action to take when being ‘tailgated’?
Use the Road Safety Campaign Posters and materials to talk to drivers about driving at a safe distance and ‘tailgating’.
Ask Front Line Managers:
• What activities have they completed for the Driving at a Safe Distance campaign?
• Have they made all drivers aware of the actions they need to take?
• Have they delivered the WTLL and displayed the poster?
• Have they completed a Driver/Vehicle SMAT concentrating on Driving at a Safe Distance?
Observe Vehicles and Drivers:
Talk to drivers, check they are aware of the campaign messages and things they can do.
Your proactive support is important and is much appreciated. Don’t wait for Managers to contact you – contact them and ensure they comply and support this campaign.
• WTLL Road Safety Campaign – Driving at a Safe Distance (DRAFT)
• ‘Don’t Break The 2-Second Rule’ Posters (2)
• Road Safety Campaign ‘Driving At A Safe Distance’ Managers’ Checklist
• Road Safety Campaign ‘Driving At A Safe Distance’ CWU Area Safety Reps Activity Plan Guide
National Health, Safety & Environment Officer