Your Advocate In Serious Injury Claims

How long should a driver’s following distance really be?

Some drivers will tailgate constantly, almost as if they don’t think it’s dangerous. It’s just how they drive. They think it’s safe to be only a second or two behind the next vehicle. As long as traffic is moving smoothly, they don’t feel like they’re in danger of getting into an accident.

But they are. Tailgating is highly dangerous, cutting down reaction times and drastically increasing the odds of rear-end accidents when unexpected events take place on the roadway. A one or two-second following distance may not be enough. It is best for drivers to use at least three seconds, and some may want to consider four or five seconds, depending on factors like road conditions, speed or the weight of the vehicle.

Why does it need to be so long?

If you count off a three-second following distance and it looks too long, just remember that you physically cannot react immediately when you have to stop your car.

First, you have to see the reason to stop, such as the driver ahead of you hitting the brake lights or a yellow traffic light turning red. It can take about three-quarters of a second for your brain to process this information.

Next, you have to take your foot off of the accelerator, move it over to the brake pedal and push it until the brakes engage. This usually takes another three-quarters of a second. As a result, simply starting to brake the car will take about 1.5 seconds. A shorter following distance wouldn’t be enough, but three or four seconds may give you time to stop the vehicle safely.

Have you suffered injuries in a crash?

Understanding how to drive safely is important. Unfortunately, other drivers will still tailgate and cause accidents. If you suffered injuries because of someone else’s negligent driving tactics, you may be able to seek financial compensation.