KT Edit: Tailgating is too close for comfort

Road behaviour demands a common-sense approach as there can never be an ideal condition.



Published: Mon 20 Jan 2020, 8:31 PM

Last updated: Mon 20 Jan 2020, 10:32 PM

What constitutes 'safe distance' that is to be maintained between vehicles on the road to ensure that they avoid crashing into each other and causing accidents?
There appears to be no clarity on the issue of tailgating despite our best efforts to come up with a fair assessment. But first, try explaining the larger aspect of safety to drivers who are in a hurry and who drive recklessly on the road. Dangerous driving invites fines, black points, and even seizure of vehicles under the law, yet many motorists have made a habit to bully others when they take the preferred 'fast lane' to their destinations. Again, 'fast lane' is a misnomer that is open to many (dangerous) interpretations that could end in tragic consequences. The priority should be to always drive safe on highways and on city roads. Abu Dhabi Police, however, explaining safe distance to curb tailgating, says it's what gives drivers a two-second reaction time to brake and prevent an accident. Road experts say it is keeping a distance of 56 metres when motorists clock the maximum permissible speed on the last lane. It also depends on the traffic and weather conditions which are variables.
Smart motorists are aware of them, others must too. Road behaviour demands a common-sense approach as there can never be an ideal condition. Hence drivers must always be on the lookout for likely dangers as they share the road with others who may be in a rush to get home or to office. Good drivers keep a safe distance at all times which gives them time to take decisions. Defensive driving is when motorists watch the flow (and speed) of other vehicles on the road depending on the lane they choose to take. In the UAE, the farthest lane on the left of the road is for higher speeds, which may vary in different sections of the main highways or the emirate motorists are driving in. The UAE is fortunate to have some of the best roads in the world. Police and road authorities are constantly making commutes easier. There is intense focus on safety but the problem lies with driving styles and attitudes on the road. Our advice: don't unleash aggression on the road by getting too close to the car in front of you; check your speed and stick to the prescribed limits; respect your fellow drivers, and stay safe.


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