Calgary

Tailgating? More like 'Failgating,' says AMA

Jeff Kasbrick of the Alberta Motor Association says following too closely to someone is actually the top driver error that leads to collisions involving injuries or fatalities in the province. 

Following too close accounts for nearly a third of all casualty collisions in Alberta

Jeff Kasbrick, the AMA's vice-president of government and stakeholder relations, says 'failgating' is caused by distractions, speeding and impatience. (Min Dhariwal/CBC)

Most Albertans don't recognize they're tailgating, so the Alberta Motor Association has launched an awareness campaign called "failgating."

AMA vice-president Jeff Kasbrick says following too closely to someone is actually the top driver error that leads to collisions involving injuries or fatalities in the province. 

"We thought that it was really important given the safety issue that we begin to draw light on this issue and call tailgating what it really is and that's 'failgating,'" he said.

According to an AMA survey, 63 per cent of drivers "often" or "always" witness other vehicles following too closely in traffic. Yet, when asked about their own habits, only two per cent admitted to tailgating on a regular basis.

"We all often believe that we're a safer and better driver than the person next to us. However, the problem is if everybody has that same attitude, then things begin to fall apart a little bit and unravel because we all are contributors to our driving communities," he said.

He says "failgating" is caused by distractions, speeding and impatience.

"We're getting a little aggressive and perhaps we didn't leave home with enough time to get to our destination," he said.

Kasbrick says drivers can reduce accidental tailgating by practising the three-second rule when following the car ahead of them. However, this rule needs to be adjusted to four to six seconds if motorists are driving in poor weather or at higher speeds.

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