RAA urges drivers to back off

6 June, 2022

RAA is urging drivers to back off as latest police figures show motorists were fined $679,730 last year for tailgating.

A total of 2522 drivers were nabbed for failing to keep a safe distance from the vehicle in front in 2021 – resulting in 1503 fines and 1019 cautions.

RAA Insurance spokesman Mark Borlace said our claims data showed rear-end collisions were the most common among crashes involving more than one driver.

“Motorists need to be aware braking distances increase in wet weather, so our advice is to back off and give yourself plenty of time and space to brake safely,’’ he said.

“It’s important for the safety of all road users that motorists keep a safe distance from the vehicle in front of them, and drivers must be aware they need to allow an even greater breaking distance in wet conditions.’’  

Our road safety calculations show cars travelling at just 50km/h required almost 10 metres more stopping distance in the wet compared to dry conditions.

“And the faster you are driving the longer it takes to come to a stop in the wet, with potentially dangerous outcomes for all road users,’’ Mr Borlace said.

“If, for example, you are travelling at 60km/h it will take an extra 13.5 metres to come to a stop in wet compared to dry conditions.

“And if you are travelling at 80km/h, that stopping distance blows out to an extra 24 metres in the wet, and at 100km/h you require an extra 37 metres to come to a halt.’’

Mr Borlace warned tailgating drivers they not only face a fine of $457, but also potentially serious injury or worse if they rear-end another vehicle.

He added that, from an insurance point of view, the driver who rear-ends another vehicle was considered at fault.

RAA reminds everyone behind the wheel that Australian Road Rules require motorists to drive a sufficient distance behind the vehicle in front so they can, if necessary, stop safely to avoid a collision with the vehicle.