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After Accidents

Maintaining a proper following distance

On Behalf of | Apr 18, 2024 | Auto Accidents

Whenever you drive, it is very important to be aware of your following distance, or the distance between the front bumper of your car and the rear bumper of the next car on the road. You do not actually have to measure the physical distance. How much space you need depends on how fast you are traveling, so it works better to count off the seconds.

As a general rule, you typically want to keep three seconds in between vehicles. Choose a stationary object ahead of you on the road and wait for the leading car to pass that object. You can then simply count off seconds until you pass the same object, ensuring that you’re always far enough back. You don’t have to double-check constantly; you will become accustomed to a proper following distance over time.

Why doesn’t everyone do this?

This whole process sounds very easy, but people often do not do it because they think they can react faster than they can. Someone may think that they can stop their car in just a second or two, so that’s all the following distance they keep.

But it generally takes a person one and a half seconds just to react – three-quarters of a second to recognize the hazard and another three-quarters of a second to press the brakes. So anything less than three seconds just isn’t enough and could result in an otherwise avoidable rear-end accident.

What if you get injured?

Because people often make mistakes with following distances, you could be injured in an accident one of them causes. If so, then you just need to know how to seek financial compensation for medical bills and other costs.