AVOIDABLE:Tailgaters risking lives
Millions of drivers are putting lives at risk by leaving too little stopping distance and failing to anticipate sudden traffic jams, research shows.
Satellite navigation company TomTom found 44% of motorists have had to brake sharply because of a sudden jam, with 22% receiving rear-end bumps due to ill-timed braking.
With slamming on causing 7% of UK road accidents, it is estimated driving too close to the car in front costs the economy more than £1billion a year.
While 58% of British drivers claim they always adhere to the required stopping distance, only 44% knew 240ft is the correct Highway Code distance at 60mph.
Shockingly, more than half (56%) either under-estimate it or do not know.
Awareness of the stopping distance at 30mph (75ft) was even worse, with only 35% getting it right and 65% putting themselves and others at risk by under-estimating it or not knowing.
Despite these findings, a staggering 90% think they have the necessary skills to be able to judge speed and distance accurately whilst driving.
A TomTom spokesperson said: “This new research reveals a serious issue that we aim to address with our technology.
“Our traffic information has become so accurate that we can now pinpoint the precise location of a traffic jam.
“On our new GO range we have developed a ‘Jam Ahead Warning’ that shows drivers clearly where a jam starts and crucially alerts them to slow down if they are travelling too fast.”