National Highways is warning against the dangers of tailgating after new cameras captured more than 60,000 incidents in just one year on a stretch of the M1.

Tailgating is a factor in around one in eight crashes on England’s motorways and major A roads, according to the organisation.

Last year National Highways and Northamptonshire Police joined forces in a trial to raise awareness and deter tailgating. Cameras were used on lane one of a stretch of the M1 over 12 months to automatically detect vehicles driving too close and captured 60,343 incidents.

“Unfortunately, as highlighted by the M1 trial, we know that too many people are driving too close on our roads,” said Jeremy Phillips, National Highways Head of Road Safety.

“Most tailgating is unintentional by drivers who don’t realise that they are infringing on someone else’s space. But not leaving enough space between you and the vehicle in front is not only very frightening for that driver, it could have devastating consequences.”

National Highways sent letters to 2,144 drivers spotted on the tailgating camera to highlight the dangers of not leaving safe braking distances.

The organisation will use the results of the trial to inform future work on tailgating.