London, 19 Nov 2005.
For immediate release.

Contact the ABD

Press Release

Two Seconds To Live!
An ABD campaign to prevent rear end collisions
Being hit from the rear is one of the most common collisions on UK roads and is responsible for significant numbers of deaths and injuries* and considerable cost to the insurance industry.
The ABD calls for a two pronged approach targeting both those likely to 'rear end' and those likely to be 'rear ended':
1. The government should bring back the 'Only A Fool Breaks The Two Second Rule' education campaign. This simple guide is where drivers count two seconds after the vehicle in front passes a fixed point such as a lamppost. If they pass the point sooner than two seconds they are too close. Twice as long should be allowed in wet weather. ABD Road safety spokesman Mark McArthur-Christie explains:
"This is the simplest and most effective way of educating drivers to maintain a generally safe following distance. Last used in the nineties, it requires no painting of the carriageway or expensive (and often flawed) technology."

2. A second campaign to run alongside the 'two second rule' will educate drivers in ways they can avoid being rear ended. This would give the following advice: McArthur-Christie explains again:
"Far too many drivers just sit at the back of queues, put the brakes on and disengage brain. These simple measures can do much to avoid the sometimes disastrous consequences of being rear ended."
ABD Chairman Brian Gregory said:
"Adopting these campaigns could help the government meet their targets of reducing road casualties and would be far more effective than their current focus upon speed alone. Many could be alive today if they had been given this advice which isn't in the driving test. The government should approach insurance companies for sponsorship of such campaigns — considerable sums are spent by them on repairs and injury compensation claims which they will be keen to avoid. Unfortunately persuading the current goverment to take driver education seriously seems to be an uphill struggle."

* According to a National Motorway Group survey carried out in 2004, tailgating contributed to one third of injurious motorway accidents, 70% of drivers were guilty of tailgating on some stretches of motorway and that on average 40% of motorists drive too close to the car in front.
* The West Midlands Accident report suggests that 'following too close' is a definite factor in about 10% of accidents
* TRL 323: following too close = 4.1% of accidents.
* TRL 323 suggests that 26% of fatal and serious accidents on rural roads are due to 'failing to avoid a vehicle or object in carriageway'.


Notes for Editors