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What is a safe following distance?

On Behalf of | Mar 16, 2023 | Motor Vehicle Accidents

People often underestimate the necessary following distance when they drive. Many tailgaters are not being aggressive. They are just oblivious. They cause rear-end accidents and they are just as surprised as anyone else, even though they were clearly tailgating in the minutes leading up to that accident.

As such, it’s important to know what a safe following distance looks like. What you should always shoot for is a gap of three seconds between vehicles.

How do you calculate it?

This is easy to calculate if you simply find a landmark on the side of the road. An example could be a cross street, a gas station or a street sign. You simply watch until the vehicle ahead of you passes that point, and then you count down three seconds. As long as your own vehicle does not pass the same landmark before the three seconds are up, you have a safe following distance.

Why will three seconds work?

Three seconds is a good measure to use because it automatically adjusts the physical distance between the vehicles when you’re traveling at a faster rate of speed. Tailgating at 25 miles an hour in the city does not look the same as tailgating at 75 miles an hour on the interstate. But a three-second gap will naturally be larger on the interstate than it will in the city.

What options do you have?

Unfortunately, as noted above, many people tailgate consistently and cause accidents. Those who are injured need to know how to seek financial compensation. This can help to cover the cost of medical bills, lost wages and much more.