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Are You Maintaining a Safe Following Distance?

by Staff Blogger | February 10th, 2021

One of the most common types of crashes is rear-end crashes. They’re almost always caused by drivers following the vehicles in front of them too closely. When drivers follow too closely, they’re unable to slow down or stop in time to prevent a crash when the drivers ahead of them have to slam on their brakes.

Most drivers DON’T leave enough space between their vehicles and the vehicles in front of them. The recommended distance is much longer than what most people believe. Because it’s difficult to accurately estimate distance while driving, it’s easier to calculate it via the amount of time that passes while driving at a normal speed for the road you’re on.

For most roads and in most conditions, the recommended follow distance is at least three seconds. To calculate this, wait until the vehicle in front of you passes a landmark, such as a house, tree, exit, or road sign. Then, count to three. If you reach the landmark before you counted to three, it means you’re following too closely and should slow down or change lanes.

If your vehicle has worn brakes or you’re driving in inclement weather, you should instead count to five. Doing so will give you plenty of time to stop or slow down in the event of an emergency, which will significantly reduce your risks of being involved in a rear-end crash.

When rear-end crashes happen, the driver in back is almost always at fault, but these crashes still demand an investigation. Contact Ponce Law if you were injured in a crash that you believe wasn’t your fault—our Nashville auto accident attorneys are here to help.

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