Abu Dhabi: Twenty-two people died and 16 were severely injured in 227 traffic accidents caused by tailgating in Abu Dhabi emirate in 2014.

This represents 12 per cent of the traffic accidents last year, according to statistics released by the Abu Dhabi Police Traffic and Patrols Directorate on Saturday.

The Directorate warned motorists against tailgating — driving too close to the car in front — with the use of headlights and horn to bully the leading vehicle’s driver to get out of the way. Such annoying practices may divert the driver’s attention and focus, causing fatal accidents, a press release issued by the police said.

Colonel Mohammad Saif Al Mazroui, Chief of the Peripheral Regions Traffic Section at the Directorate, warned about the dangers of not keeping a safe distance between cars. This is one of the major causes of fatal traffic accidents, he said.

He also pointed out that failure to leave a safe distance between vehicles increases the risk of rear-end collisions. In such situations, drivers may not be able to adequately control their vehicles in a timely manner should the driver ahead of them suddenly stop due to several unexpected reasons.

Colonel Al Mazroui said that such practices aimed at forcing other drivers to make way are considered aggressive driving. He pointed out that individuals who engage in such behavior may cause serious traffic accidents that may lead to deaths and injuries.

Traffic patrols and traffic investigation officers on internal and external roads will intensify their efforts to nab such violators. “Motorists violating the ‘safe distance’ traffic rule will receive four black points and a fine of Dh400. A total of 13,976 such fines were issued in the emirate last year,” Colonel Al Mazroui said.

He called upon motorists, especially young people, to be cautious and focused while driving, and to leave a safe distance between vehicles to avoid fatal traffic accidents.