The country's tailgating blackspots revealed
Topping the table was a stretch of the M1 near Leeds; the southbound carriageway between the A1M and junction 47. This one mile strip of road had the largest proportion of drivers failing to leave a safe two second gap between their car and the vehicle in front, claims Direct Line car insurance, which commissioned the research.
Coming in second place was the northbound carriageway of the M42 between junctions six and seven near Solihull in the West Midlands. Third place went to junction one of the M1 heading northbound, near Brent Cross in north London.
The study, which was carried out by the Transport Research Laboratory, analysed Highways Agency figures for 6,500 sections of motorway across England. Overall, 49 per cent of vehicles were found to be driving too close to the vehicle ahead – at less than 65 yards behind. A total of 17 per cent of vehicles were found leaving less than a one second gap.
Of the vehicles travelling between 60 and 69mph nearly 80 per cent failed to leave sufficient space. Data from the police reveals that more than 1,700 injuries a year are caused by "close following" on dual carriageways and motorways – including around five deaths, the new report states.
Data also suggests that younger drivers are most likely to be involved with an accident due to tailgating – with 37 per cent of collisions caused by those under 30 years old.
Rob Miles from Direct Line insurance said: "Tailgating is extremely dangerous and also against the law, regardless of whether it's done intentionally or in ignorance.
"Often people can find themselves too close to other vehicles on motorways as they rush to their destination or try to keep up with traffic flow.
"We'd urge drivers to keep their stopping distances in mind, as these are often forgotten in times of haste or frustration. Drivers should aim to always have at least a two-second gap between themselves and the car in front to keep safe."
This data was collected over several weeks in March, using incident detection and signaling systems, which monitor traffic flow and car speeds. The motorway featuring most heavily in the top 10 is the M42, which takes up four places.