Safe Following Distance - In all driving situations, the best way to avoid potential dangers is to position your vehicle where you have the best chance of seeing and being seen. Maintaining a safe following distance between your car and vehicles ahead allows:
You to see potential dangers ahead of the vehicle you're following; Vehicles ahead to see you in their mirrors.
Since the greatest risk of a collision is in front of you, use the 2 to 3 Second Rule for establishing a safe following distance. This 2 to 3 second rule allows you to see around the car ahead and plan a maneuver to avoid potential dangers. To stay at least 2 to 3 seconds behind the vehicle ahead of you:
Choose a fixed road mark, such as a road sign;
Start to count as the vehicle ahead passes the road sign;
You should be able to count 1,001.... 1,002.... 1,003 before you pass the fixed point.
The 2 to 3 second following distance works if you have to stop suddenly because the driver ahead brakes to a stop. However, at highway speeds, a 2 to 3 second following distance will not give you enough time to stop if the road ahead is suddenly blocked by a collision or a vehicle stopped across your lane. At 55 miles per hour, you would need nearly 4 to 5 seconds to stop. Remember...... As your speed increases, so does the time and distance required to brake to a stop.
STAY FOCUSED - KEEP YOUR MIND ON THE ROAD!
Driving while distracted is a major contributor to automobile crashes. Distracted drivers are thinking about things other than the road in front of them and the vehicles around them. Talking on a cell phone, reading a map, or eating while driving are just some examples of driving while distracted. Safe drivers recognize that driving requires their full attention.
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