Aldrich Law Firm, Ltd.
Aldrich Law Firm, Ltd.

Call us toll free at
877-508-0433Good People Deserve Good Lawyers. ®

Call us toll free at
Good People Deserve Good Lawyers. ®

Why isn’t a two-second following distance enough?

As a general rule, you should maintain a following distance of three seconds. Whenever you’re driving, there should be at least three seconds between your vehicle and the rear bumper of the car ahead of you. This prevents you from tailgating.

But when many drivers count off three seconds, they feel like it is much too far. This physical distance between vehicles appears longer than necessary and other cars may even fit into the gap. These drivers assume that they would be completely fine with just one or two seconds. But why isn’t this enough?

Reaction times

The issue is that reaction times in the car are not instantaneous. Even when they feel that way, there’s a bit of a delay.

For example, even when a driver is paying attention to the road, it can take them about 3/4 of a second just to realize they need to stop the car. It can then take another 3/4 of a second for them to physically move their foot to the brake pedal and begin slowing down.

In other words, it’s going to take most drivers about one and a half seconds just to react to the conditions on the road. If they only have two seconds of following distance, that leaves them with half a second to stop the car in time. It’s just not enough in an emergency situation.

Seeking compensation

Unfortunately, even if you drive safely, other drivers are going to tailgate and cause accidents. If you’ve been injured in one of these crashes, you need to know how to seek financial compensation.

John P. Aldrich
Rated by Super Lawyers

loading ...
FindLaw Network