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When should you increase the safe following distance?

On Behalf of | Apr 21, 2023 | Motor Vehicle Accidents

When following another vehicle, you need to leave a safe distance. The rule of thumb is three seconds between two cars. You can simply determine this by counting how many seconds it takes you to pass an object, such as a road sign, tree or telephone pole, after the driver ahead passes it.

However, in some instances, you may need to increase this distance. They include:

Driving near a truck

If you are driving behind a large truck, you should increase the following distance. Due to their size, behind the truck can be a blind spot for the driver, which means they may not see you. If they brake suddenly, you may crash into the truck or get under it.

It will also help to increase the seconds when following an emergency vehicle, farm equipment, snowplows and construction vehicles.

Poor weather conditions

Poor weather conditions, such as during winter, may affect a driver’s visibility. Thus, you should increase the safe following distance by a few seconds to eliminate the chances of crashing into another vehicle. This is also essential in nighttime driving.

Entering or exiting a highway

When entering or exiting a highway, you should leave more space between you and other drivers to do so safely. 

Someone is tailgating you 

If someone is tailgating you, consider increasing the safe following distance, as they may have made a mistake. However, if this persists, proving they are doing it intentionally, maintain your speed and let the tailgater pass when it’s safe.

There should be a safe distance between you and other vehicles. If you are injured by another driver, despite observing safety measures, obtain more information about your case and act accordingly to receive fair compensation.