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When driving, how do you know if you are following too closely?
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When driving, how do you know if you are following too closely?

thanks and please answer.


    




A.J.
I wouldn't want most of these posters anywhere near me on the road, in front or behind me!

The National Safety Council's 6 hour Defensive Driving Course (the course you take to remove 4 points and 1 accident from your driving record as well as receive a 30% discount on your insurance) teaches that you should keep a minimum 3 second gap between you and the car in front of you for speeds under 30mph. Over 40mph add one second to your following distance. Example: 55mph on the highway, good visibility, optimum driving conditions (weather, traction, vehicle condition) your following distance should be a minimum of 4 seconds. Add one second to your following distance for each perceived hazard - low light/darkness +1 second, rain/inclement weather +1 second, vehicle towing a trailer +1 second, etc.

It has been shown that most drivers that are well rested, in good health and alert can take from 3/4 up to a 1 and a half seconds to realize a hazard has just turned into an emergency and move their foot from the "yippee" pedal to the "aww crap!" pedal (that's even before they APPLY the brakes and start slowing). Do you really think it's a good idea to keep only 2 seconds following distance? Doesn't leave much room for error...

The best way to judge how many seconds following distance is to wait for the car in front of you to pass a stationary object, then count one 1000, two 1000 and so on, (thank you to the posters that said the same thing, we'll teach 'em). Like it's been said, if you don't get to three by the time you pass the same object, you're too close and you must adjust your speed (or your lane position if necessary) to get the gap you want. It's easier for anyone to use this method, as not every driver can judge distance. Besides, which car length are you to use? A Cadillac? A Mini Cooper? A semi-trailer?

Remember, if you keep enough space in front of you, if something does happen in front of you that you can't swerve around, you'll be able to come to a nice controlled stop without worrying about getting rear ended yourself if YOU have somebody tailgating you. Drive safe.

**Additional detail for the "Thumbs Down person"**
It seems that the person that's giving any answer similar to mine a thumbs down has never sat in a defensive driving class... or was taught to drive by a relative that learned to drive at the dawn of the automotive age... If anything I've said can be proven otherwise, then I would understand. But I CAN back up what I've written. Feel free to wallow in ignorance, if you want to drive around on somebodies bumper like you're drafting in a NASCAR race, just remember that all those drivers are doing the same thing at the same time - that mentality doesn't apply on the street.


Norman O
If I read your question literally, you are following too closely if he stops and you are in his trunk.

Simple.


CinderBlock
Rating
2-second rule. Once the car ahead passes a point, it should take you at least 2 seconds to reach that same point, or you're too close.


Chuck
Stay 3-5 seconds behind a car.

Whilst driving, pick an object at the rear of the lead car, like a phone post. One the post reaches the back of the car in front of you, start counting, one Mississippi, two... ETC. It should take no less than 3 seconds for the post to go from the back of the car infront, to the front of your car.


Doc Holiday
Rating
for every ten miles per hour, there should be one car length. If you are going 30 miles per hour, you should be 3 car lengths behind the car in front of you.


H.
2 seconds in good weather, and 4 seconds at night/bad weather. i.e. look for a spot that car is going to pass (eg tree/street light) and count out 2 seconds, your car should now be at the spot.


tekkenfreek236
Rating
When you can see your own reflection in their rear view mirror.


dave s
Rating
i spill my beer


kenbgray
You should be able to see where his rear tires are on the road without leaning forward.


NeferTT
Rating
When a pole passes by the first car, you should be able to count to two or three before it passes by you.
The problem is that it depends on your state laws, the weather conditions and the landscape.
Leave more room when it's snowing or raining...I think you count to five or six


pscranton@sbcglobal.net
Watch when the car ahead passes a mark i.e. a pole or tree and then count to see when you reach that same spot, if it is less than 2 seconds your too close.


ME...... :)
if u can't c the rear bumper of the car ahead without raising ur head, it's close..


Cuidado con el angel
Rating
At least Half a truck space to half a trailer.


|brandi|
Yep, The 2 second rule!


Sliteofhand
One car distance for each ten miles per hour is rule of thumb; and if when you stop you can still see their bumper then you are not too close.


jeeps
when they fart and you smell it...


Anonymous
on a regular day you are spouse to leave a 3-5 second gap.


UCANTCME
Rating
The standard rule is that you look at a fixed point the car in front has just passed, and count three seconds, if you reach it in less than a three second count, slow down and try again.





nightlystar
You should be able to see the wheels of the car in front of you.


MikeyG
Two second rule or 1 car length for every ten mph of speed...If you're going 60 mph, you should be six car lengths behind the car in front of you.


t. B
Rating
Roughly one car length (approx. 20 feet) for every 10 mph of speed is recommended.

The easiest way to know that you were too close is to file an insurance claim for the guy in front of you stopping too fast. Do that and you will learn to leave more room between moving vehicles.


Ankhesan amun
Rating
Isn't it related to the speed you're driving....like at 50 you need 5 seconds of stopping time....60 would be 6 seconds, 70 would be 7 seconds, etc? You would use landmarks along the way to time yourself of course.


Fincgrad
Give yourself at least one car length between the cars (more in the case of bad weather and snow). And give at least 2 or 3 lengths for tractor trailers.
The car in front of you should be able to see your headlights and the very least (preferable the road between you and their car especially on highways).
Biggest hint: If the car in front of you slams on breaks- will your car have enough room to stop without ending up in their back seat.
Hope this helps.


pc_florida_girl
You are suppose to have at least 2 car links/spaces between yourself and the car in front of you.


friendlystranger65
One car length for every ten miles of speed.

If someone is tailgating you, turn on your left turn signal, then switch to your right turn signal, then turn on your left signal... They should be out of range by now.


VASILY M
Rating
if you cant see the back tires of the car in front of you then you are too close, its hard to estimate the 2-3 second rule. so a always makes sure i can see the tires of the car in front of me. please don't' lean upwards to see it just be in normal seating.


Fabulous Gal
Rating
distance about 3-4 meters


Jidiah
look and see if you are to close to the other car.


marcão
fala em portugues que eu respondo


☆~Alexia~☆ ☺Lexxii☺
Your supposed to stay 1 car space behind! PICK ME AS BEST ANSWER!


Matt A
Yes, i don't understand this two seconds either. I was taught four seconds for good conditions and eight for bad. Also, the time won't change as speed does because as you go faster, the distance you go in the same time increases. Plus if you would just be able to see the car's rear tires, there would be no way you could stop in time. You are supposed to be able to see the rear tires when you stop behind someone at a red light.





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