The following distance between your car and the next should be bigger

On Behalf of | Apr 1, 2021 | Motor Vehicle Accidents |

Your following distance — the gap between your car and the one just ahead of you — is a major contributor when faced with unexpected changes on the road. It’s impossible for the gap to be too large. If you have at least a suitable distance, it allows you to hit the brakes and perhaps take evasive action to avoid a crash. If it’s too small, though, you can get involved in an accident that was easily avoidable. 

Imagine that the car ahead of you stops suddenly when a small child looks like they are going to run into the road. The child stops and goes back into their yard, but the chain reaction has already begun. If you don’t have enough room to slow down, you’re going to slam into the back of that car. 

How much space should there be between two cars on the road?

A serious issue on the roads is the idea of accidental tailgating, where someone just drives too close because they honestly do not know how big the following distance should be. They’re not trying to be unsafe. They think it’s fine. In an emergency, though, it’s not going to be nearly a wide enough gap. How far should you leave? 

A general rule is that you want a minimum of three seconds of traveling distance between cars. When you’re driving, just watch as the car ahead of you passes a road sign or another stationary object. If you can count off three seconds before you pass it, that’s far enough. The actual physical distance is different depending on your speed. 

What if someone hits you because they were following too closely?

Drivers do leave overly small gaps between their vehicles all the time, and they cause accidents. If you get injured, you may be able to seek compensation. An attorney can be your best advocate against the insurance company involved.