Nearly 50 Years of Fighting for Clients in Need SET UP YOUR FREE CONSULTATION

Facts About the Safe Following Distance Rule

The Law Office of Joel M. Bacher April 10, 2020

From rush hour traffic and road construction delays to careless drivers and accidents, commuters in New Jersey and throughout the country face many challenges daily. One way motorists can reduce their chances of having an accident on busy roadways is by keeping a safe following distance.

In fact, according to a report by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, one of the main causes of vehicle wrecks is from rear-end crashes, and a failure to keep the safe following distance rule is one of the leading causes of these types of accidents. By keeping a safe following distance, motorists are able to suddenly stop or reduce their speed, which can avoid a crash.

The National Safety Council recommends that motorists should keep a distance of at least three seconds from the car they are following. However, sometimes motorists might need to increase their following distance because of a decrease in visibility, such as at nighttime or in dense fog. Even when keeping a safe following distance, however, motorists who are distracted with eating, texting or talking on a cell phone while driving can still wreck because distractions often take away their ability to react in enough time to avoid a rear-end collision.

To calculate the safe following distance, a motorist can fix his or her eyes on a certain object near the roadside, such as a utility pole or a mailbox and begin counting from one-thousand-one to one-thousand-three from the time the vehicle they are following passes the object and the when they pass it. Motorists who reach the object before the three seconds are up are driving too closely to or tailgating the preceding vehicle.

As this article shows, tailgating, distractions and speeding can easily lead to serious car wrecks, causing severe, life-threatening injuries. Auto accident victims could be awarded damages caused by a reckless or distracted driver via legal representation.