Muscat: “Nuisance”, “annoying” and “ignorant” are some of the words used to describe tailgating in the streets of the Sultanate.
This problem is a growing concern in the country as many speeding and rash drivers tend to close the safe distance gap between the vehicles in order to force the other to give way, which could cause a chain reaction of accidents.
According to data from National Center for Statistics and Information, “failure to leave a safe distance” is the fourth highest reason for accidents in 2016. 326 accidents occurred for tailgating in which 183 people were injured and 12 died.
The Oman Road Safety Association (ORSA) condemns this act deeming it dangerous and unsafe and that drivers should heed to the basics of driving instead of ignoring them.
“This is an unsafe act. Unfortunately, it's widely noticed on Oman roads, ORSA advises all drivers to keep in mind to keep a safe distance to avoid the unavoidable,” said ORSA.
“Ignoring the basics from some drivers is an extremely dangerous sign and we must take extra precautions on roads. The likelihood (of an accident) is absolutely high and the impact will be high,” added ORSA.
Commuters in the Sultanate also voiced their opinion on the matter saying that it is an annoying habit of some drivers and that they could be the trigger that ultimately causes an accident.
Mohammad Al Wahaibi, an Omani national said, “I had an accident in Sarooj because of a tailgater once. The roads in Sarooj are narrow and some people speed up, so the tailgater bumped into my car after stopping at the traffic lights.”
“These drivers are ignorant and must learn defensive driving,” he added.
Another Omani national who requested to remain anonymous said, “It really is a nuisance when you think about it; especially when there is fast moving yet congested traffic along the highway when a tailgater is about to sit on your lap.”
“I wouldn’t be able to give way because of traffic. Even when there is sudden braking in front of me, I try not to break hard, but enough to help the guy avoid rear ending my vehicle and from me crashing into the guy in front of me,” he added.
Some however say that the tailgaters might be in an emergency situation.
Fayyad Samara, a resident in Muscat said, “When someone tailgates, I always assume that they are in a state of emergency and let them pass immediately.”
“It’s quite annoying but we never know what people’s [situations are],” he added.