19 Nov 2018

What is a Safe Distance from the Car In Front?

Highways England states that one in eight accidents on the road is caused by tailgating, an increasingly familiar scenario whereby safe distances from the car in front are not maintained.

As the winter weather adds additional risk factors to driving, keeping a safe distance becomes even more important. The ability to react and take action in time is vital to avoid accidents on the road. But what is a safe distance from the car in front?

The two-second rule (the time gap that should be maintained between vehicles) should be applied in all instances, unless it is wet on the road, then the time should be doubled. This allows the driver time to react and take action should they need to. Unfortunately, too many people don’t heed this advice with 87% of drivers stating they had been subject to, or witnessed, tailgating on the road. That is why Highways England have run a ‘Don’t be a Space Invader’ campaign, designed to discourage tailgating on the road network.

Despite generating anger, frustration and fear in the driver being tailgated, advice from experts calls for calm; to avoid speeding up, tapping on the brakes or looking in the rear view mirror. Instead, the driver should remain at the same speed, clearly indicate their intentions before moving out of the way of the driver behind.

This will help to avoid escalating the situation and keep you safer on the roads.

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