Van drivers are responsible for 10 injuries per week related to collisions caused by following the vehicle in front too closely.
Department for Transport figures show that there were 4,256 accidents reported as vehicles “following too close” in 2017, causing 6,184 injuries. This included 19 fatalities. Analysis by Volkswagen Commercial Vehicles found that eight per cent of these collisions involved light commercial vehicles, the equivalent of 10 injuries each week.
Fifty-five per cent of all tailgating accidents happened on A-roads, making them the most likely place to be involved in a collision. Meanwhile, following too close is responsible for more accidents than speeding, drink-driving and poor weather conditions.
According to Volkswagen, downtime caused by accidents costs fleets an average of £550 per day per van, while the average UK repair bill is more than £2,000.
Neil Greig, director of policy and research at road safety charity IAM RoadSmart, said: “Tailgating is the biggest single bugbear that motorway users in particular report.
“Surveys suggest almost half of drivers feel scared and get angry about it. Keeping your distance means you can observe what is happening around and ahead of you much better and gives you time to react to the unexpected.”