Footage of tailgating lorry terrifyingly close to car in front

Shocking footage of a lorry driving just feet away from another motorist has been released after being captured by a dash cam. Motorist Caroline Layton, a data and intelligence analyst for Highways England, has told how she feared her small car was going to be hit and “crushed” as a lorry loomed up behind her, driving at speed and far too close, in motorway roadworks. She was travelling within the speed limit through the roadworks when the lorry approached and was “getting closer and closer”.

Footage captured on her rear dash cam shows the lorry just feet away from her car with the truck driver even flashing his lights and gesticulating at her before he eventually indicates and overtakes her car. She said: “He came up really close, just a couple of metres behind. I thought I had to slow down because if it hit me at 50mph I would be crushed.

“This was very intimidating behaviour and likely to cause a crash and serious injury. If anyone had stopped in front of me he would have gone into the back of my car and I would have been sandwiched in the middle. “From the driver’s seat, all I could see in my rear-view mirror was the lorry’s grill.”

She added: “Although this was the worst incident I have encountered, I have seen a lot of tailgating and it isn’t just lorries, all types of vehicle.” She was driving through roadworks on the M27 in Hampshire after finishing work. It comes as almost 10,000 vehicles were caught tailgating in the first two weeks of new cameras being tested to clamp down on the tailgating offence.

Highways England and police have joined forces to tackle the offence which is a factor in around one in eight casualties on England’s motorways and major A roads. Soon, motorists caught tailgating can expect to receive letters advising them they were travelling too close to another vehicle and highlighting the dangers of not leaving safe braking distances thanks to new cameras. The A38 could be one of the roads up and down the country eventually taking part in the clampdown as the cameras are rolled out.

Highways England’s head of road safety Jeremy Philips said: “These new cameras have, sadly, highlighted just how many people are driving too close on our roads. “We understand that most tailgating is unintentional by drivers who are simply unaware they are dangerously invading someone else’s space. But not leaving enough space between you and the vehicle in front can be very frightening and intimidating – it could also prove fatal.

“We are trialling the new cameras to make drivers aware of their behaviour and encourage better driving. We are also using the Space Invader video game character as a quick reminder to drivers of the risks of tailgating. “Our message is simple – Don’t be a Space Invader, Stay safe, stay back.”

More than 130 people killed or seriously injured in incidents involving people driving too close in 2018.

A survey for Highways England found that while more than a quarter of drivers admitted to tailgating, nearly nine in 10 people say they have either been tailgated or seen it.

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