DO NOT pull up to my bumper baby, or we're both going to end up in a crash.

That's right, the most hated habit on our roads -- tail-gating-- is the top cause of rear-end crashes, and for the first time we have proof.

New research out of Brisbane shows that not only has tail gating been linked to rear-end crashes, but it also found why people were tail-gating. They were trying to stop others jumping a queue.

The top reason people gave for tail gating was that they did not want someone sneaking into their lane in front of them.

QUT's Dr Sebastien Demmel was one of the authors of the research.

"Drivers blamed queue-jumpers for tailgating, they wanted to avoid another driver cutting in front of them,"  he said.

 

The study included road crash data to target rear-end crash blackspots and road monitoring to look at driving conditions, speed and tailgating. The experts also surveyed more than 500 drivers about their behaviour and what they thought was a safe distance to keep while driving.

"We found rear-end crashes are more likely to occur in urban areas with speed limits of 60-70kmh," he said.

Most drivers (55%) say they do not leave a two second gap between them and the car in front.

Only slightly less (44%) refuse to leave even one second.

One in five crashes on Queensland roads involve rear-end collisions, and they make up a quarter of the claims put through the compulsory third party insurance scheme.

That means if there are fewer crashes, insurance may end up costing less.

So how do we make that happen? Dr Demmel said people need a better understanding of what it means to keep a safe distance.

"As many as two-thirds of drivers are not keeping a safe distance, despite the belief that they are," he said.

"Campaigns targeting tailgating linked to drivers preventing queue-jumping may also have a significant impact.

"Eventually, automated vehicles have the potential to revolutionise our roads and reduce rear-end crashes."

News Corp Australia


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