Transport & Travel Research Ltd (TTR) and parent company TRL have secured funding for a pilot scheme to reduce tailgating by business drivers from the Road Safety Trust, a charity that funds research to support its objective of reducing road casualties.

Tailgating, or close following, is a widespread concern on UK roads. It makes drivers feel intimidated, aggravates congestion and is a contributory factor in 7 per cent of collisions. According to the road safety charity Brake, 44 per cent of drivers are concerned about close-following most times that they drive on motorways; however, nearly 60 per cent of drivers admit to leaving less than the recommended two-second gap between themselves and the vehicle in front. The project will focus on business drivers because on average they undertake high annual driving mileages and are involved in a quarter of road traffic collisions.

Robert Gifford, chief executive of the Road Safety Trust said: “This project tackles two important issues: close following which is of concern to many road users and driving for work which poses increased risk to all drivers. I hope that the Trust’s support will help to develop a useful tool for employers as they take their role in managing this issue seriously.”

Practical interventions may focus on education, engineering or enforcement approaches or a combination of these.

The TTR and TRL team is looking for local authority partners to help recruit employers within the pilot area and develop a package of behaviour change techniques to measure and influence attitudes towards close-following.

Marcus Jones, senior expert, Sustainable Mobility at TTR added: “The project provides an excellent opportunity for road safety departments to not only help tackle tailgating on their road networks, but develop new tools they can use in the future.”

Local authorities that are interested in taking part in the pilot should contact Marcus Jones on 01344 770552 or Marcus.Jones@ttr-ltd.com