Tailgating tops motorist irks list

Tailgating deterrentTailgating, throwing litter out of cars and sending text messages are the top motorist gripes in the annual RACQ What Drives You Crazy? survey.

Since rear-enders are the biggest cause of motorcycle accidents, it comes as no surprise to riders that tailgaters are enemy number one.

RACQ Senior Road Safety Advisor Joel Tucker said tailgating returned to prime spot, after topping the survey two years ago and coming second last year.

He called for “an increased on-road police presence” targeting annoying offences such as distracted drivers.

RACQ spokesman Steve Spalding says they are concerned that driver distractions can result in serious or fatal crashes that put at risk all road users, “particularly vulnerable ones such as pedestrians, cyclists and motorcyclists”.

Steve Spalding texting
Steve Spalding

While lane-splitting by riders has been in the news of late, it again rates the second lowest concern among motorists, although it still ires 81.72% motorists, down from 85.11% last year.

“One of the main reasons we ask about this behaviour is because the issue of lane splitting and how it fits with the road rules has been a topic of discussion for a few years now and we like to monitor members’ views towards it,” he says.

“We didn’t ask people to identify concerns as motorcycle riders etc. It is just as a motorist.  Many RACQ members ride motorcycles as well as drive cars, but we didn’t explore that in this survey.”

Top 10 behaviours that drive motorists crazy

  1. Tailgating (2nd 2012, 1st 2011)
  2. Littering (4th ’12, 3rd ’11)
  3. Testing (8th ’12, 4th ’11)
  4. Increasing speed when being overtaken (1st ’12, 2nd ’11)
  5. Not allowing others to merge (7th ’12, 7th ’11)
  6. Incorrect use of indicators (4th ’12, 5th ’11)
  7. Aggression (10th ’12, 11th ’11)
  8. Ignoring speed zones at schools/roadworks (9th ’12, 11th ’11)
  9. Motorists who don’t move over to allow overtaking (8th ’12, 8th ’11)
  10. Turning from wrong lane on roundabouts (5th ’12, 10th ’11)

(Source: RACQ)


  1. Hi Mark
    I agree that Tailgating is an issue on a single lane road, but dont you think that “Tailgating” and “Motorists who don’t move over to allow overtaking” are a linked issue?

    I drive the M5 Sydney each day to work and marvel at the number of inconsiderate drivers who plonk themselves in the right lane with clear road ahead of them and travel under the speed limit, while at the same time travelling side by side another vehicle at the same speed. Effectively blocking the highway for all other motorists. Is it possible these inconsiderate drivers are the same ones that complain they are being Tailgated? Perhaps if they made their overtaking move and then pulled back into the left lane to travel at their own speed, they would have nothing to complain about.

    This isn’t an isolated incident. It happens more than 50% of the time as I travel a stretch of 52kms along this road and has done for 7 years. Trucks are the worst offenders.

    If you agree, perhaps that’s worth discussing on your site.
    Rgds SK

    1. I agree “trucks are the worst offenders”. That’s because they accelerate so slowly they take a long time to overtake, especially on hills. They should be limited to the left lane and allowed to overtake only in signposted areas that are flat as they do in Europe.

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