Home     Links     Contact Us     Bookmark  
   Homepage      News      Legal Forum      Dictionary  
Home : Legal Forum : Cars & Transportation Safety

When driving, how do you know if you are following too closely?
Find answers to your legal question.

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

thanks and please answer.


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.


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.

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
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.

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.

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

dave s
i spill my beer

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

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

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
At least Half a truck space to half a trailer.

Yep, The 2 second rule!

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.

when they fart and you smell it...

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

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.

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

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
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
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.

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.

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

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.

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
distance about 3-4 meters

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

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.

 Enter Your Message or Comment

User Name:  
User Email:   
Post a comment:

Legal Discussion Forum

 In 95° heat, how long is it safe to leave a baby in the car?
My wife got a ticket once for leaving the baby in the car for only 15 MINUTES!!! What the hell!?!...

 Drinking & Driving - Is it time for ZERO TOLERANCE?
I think all this confusion over what is over and under the limit for driving is too sketchy. Instead of banning someone over the limit for a year, just take away the licence for GOOD. No return. NO ...

 Car accident....whose fault?
Hi guys,

I had an accident in the car yesterday and Im not sure how it will go with the police....can I have your opinions please. I dont think it was my fault.



 Can Police Give You A Ticket For Riding Your Bicycle Drunk?

 Why do those signs say, "In Case of Fire, Do Not Use Elevator"? How would you put a fire out with an elevator?

 Car accident, who's fault is it?
me and a few friends are having a debate. If a person stops at a stop sign at a two ways stop and another driver coming from the left does not have to stop but has there turn signal on to turn but ...

 Which is more dangerous a drunk driver or a cellphone driver?
I cant tell which I am better at but both at the same time, now that is a challenge....

 What happnes if you weld with out a mask?
when you ...

 If another driver cuts you off causing you to brake suddenly would you..?
flash your lights at them, beep the horn, give them the finger or what?...

 What was the funniest or worst thing you did on your driving test ?
I failed the first 2 times Being a woman i am an amazing driver I only failed to stop at an unmarked junction as you do!
Additional Details
Dare i say it without being accosted by the ...

 Ice on windscreen in the morning ?
I hate clearing ice of my car in the morning, sometimes I use hot water but know this can be dangerous ,I've heard you can buy some sort of spray foam which you spray on your windscreen the ...

 Poll:- Do you Fasten your Seat belt?

 Do you think old people should be aloud to drive?
they dont drive very ...

 Why should we have to pull to the side of the road and stop when a funeral procession is driving by?
That is so annoying, I don't have time to stop for some dead guy!
Additional Details
Since a few people asked this. It would not bother me if I was in a funeral procession and ...

 Do you drive barefoot?If yes,are you a better driver in bare feet?

 Is it illegal to drink and drive in all states?
Someone told me that it was legal to drink and drive in certain states and I don't believe them, please respond!...

 Please someone,when it's windy and you're driving why do you have to slow down?
I was driving back across the M4 Second Severn Crossing Bridge early this morning,signs said slow down to 50 miles per hour.Is there an expert in vector analysis who could explain the theory(briefly)...

 What's the worst driving fault you see in other drivers?
Cutting in at lights? Overtaking on the inside? Speeding? Driving too slow?

What do you do about it?...

 Who are better drivers, women, or men?
i had this debate with my husband... He is an excellent driver, but i think that so am I. As a woman, i can park in one go, (i find reverse parking easier than front parking) I can ...

 Why don't people use their indicators at roundabouts?
Why do people fail to use their indicators at roundabouts. It is so frustrating sitting at a roundabout waiting for a gap, only to miss one because someone doesn't indicate as they are leaving.<...

Copyright (c) 2009-2013 Wiki Law 3k Thursday, February 11, 2016 - Trusted legal information for you.
Archive: Forum  |  Forum  |  Forum  |  Links