Focused On

You And Your Future

A two-second following distance just isn’t enough

On Behalf of | May 23, 2024 | Car Accidents |

In many rear-end accident cases, it comes to light that the following driver just didn’t leave enough distance between cars. It’s common advice for drivers to try to leave three seconds between vehicles. But many drivers do not actually count off this distance and just try to guess, leading to situations where they accidentally tailgate by leaving just one or two seconds.

Often, the problem is that traffic is moving at a smooth and steady rate, so it feels like a long enough following distance. If nothing changes, both vehicles can drive safely. But if something unexpected happens, then it quickly becomes clear that the short following distance isn’t enough to keep everyone safe. Three seconds is necessary to have any chance of avoiding an accident.

How long it really takes to react

Part of the issue is that people don’t understand how long it takes to react. Someone may claim that they are a good driver or that they are very experienced, so they can react quickly enough with any following distance.

But experience as a driver doesn’t change how fast your brain can process information and perceive the hazards ahead of you. It also doesn’t change how long it takes to pick your foot up and move it to the brake pedal. Both of these actions will take about 3/4 of a second, meaning that a driver hasn’t even started slowing down for 1.5 seconds.

That’s all the time it takes for a serious rear-end accident to occur. If you get injured due to another driver’s negligence, you may be able to seek compensation for medical bills and more.