What is the correct following distance when driving?

On Behalf of | Jan 19, 2023 | Personal Injury

When someone starts tailgating you, you probably assume that they want to pass or that they are angry with you for something. Maybe they believe you cut them off at the last intersection, for instance. Tailgating certainly can be an expression of frustration or an effort to get a slower vehicle to move out of the way.

But there’s also the chance that the driver behind you simply has no idea that they are tailgating you in the first place. A lot of people have become so conditioned to driving with close following distances that they will accidentally tailgate other side cars on a consistent basis. Over time, they start to think that this is normal and a safe way to drive, despite the fact that it is very dangerous. 

So what type of following distance should they actually maintain?

The three-second rule

It’s actually not hard to ensure that you have the right following distance at any time. You just need to use the three-second rule.

To do it, watch the car ahead of you and note its position in relation to a landmark on the side of the road. Then wait until your own car passes that same landmark, counting off the seconds. As long as there are three seconds between each car, you have enough space. It doesn’t hurt to leave four seconds, to be sure, but you know to back off if there are only one or two.

Unfortunately, many people either do not understand this rule or do not follow it, so you could be injured by a negligent driver. Be sure you know how to seek compensation for your medical bills.