Tailgating can mean many things. Not all of those things are the kind of thing you’d catch us talking about in a nice, clean, family-oriented e-Zine like Bankstone News. And none of them are the kind of thing anyone in their right mind would want to be caught doing.

Not unless you’re the kind of hooligan who considers it perfectly respectable to fire up a barbie in the back of your station wagon whilst slurping your way through a six-pack. But that’s another story. Something perhaps for a future issue.

The particular kind of tailgating we’re concerned with here is tailgating by vans on the UK’s roads. This kind of tailgating involves driving too close to the vehicle in front – which may or may not, whatever the publicity tries to tell you, be a Toyota (although, curiously, Fact Fans, if it is indeed a Toyota, it’s statistically more likely to have a tailgate).

Unlike covered wagons or the aforementioned station wagons, vans tend not to have gates in their tails these days. More often it would be a couple of bi-fold doors or one of those roller-shutter thingies, if it was made in Luton. 

Nor, for that matter, do most of the vehicles up whose arses they’ve recently been accused of driving. But if they did have tailgates and their drivers could press a button on their dashboards marked ‘Activate Tailgate’  as they bowled along whichever highway or byway they happened to be on – and those tailgates then swung down, there’s a good chance they’d hit the bonnet of a van in close pursuit.

That’s because according to important new research carried out by Volkswagen Commercial Vehicles, UK vans are forever driving into other vehicles from behind. 

According to figures from HMG D4T, tailgating (by all types of vehicle) causes more crashes than speeding, drink driving and poor weather conditions, which, you’re bound to admit, certainly sounds like a potent combination.

Almost 10% of an average annual tally of six-thousand-odd tailgate prangs involved what are euphemistically termed ‘light commercial vehicles’. Unhelpfully for the premise of this story, the figures don’t specify whether the LCV’s role was as perpetrators or as victims. Although, to be fair, as comedians like to say, when it comes to white van man, guilty until proved innocent seems a reasonable assumption.

Neil Greig, who insists ‘I AM RoadSmart’ claims tailgating is a bugbear – and a pretty sizeable example of that mythical species at that. “Tailgating is the biggest single bugbear that motorway users in particular report,” he says. “Drivers feel scared and get angry about it,” Neil claims. As indeed a growing number of them appear to feel about most things in contemporary Britain.

Something must be done! 

That’s what we say here at Bankstone News. 


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