While anyone on the road must (in theory) have actually a valid driving license, unfortunately, no everybody has actually the exact same level of skill behind the wheel. Nobody desires to be involved in a crash, so stop look at one important aspect of steering – what is a safe complying with distance?

Understanding “stopping distance”

First, stop talk around the principle of “stopping distance”.

You are watching: How is your following distance determined?

Stopping distance describes how far it takes girlfriend to bring the automobile to a full stop in an emergency, and also it is determined by 2 factors: your reaction distance and her braking distance.

Reaction distance and also braking distance

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Tailgating – driving too close come the vehicle ahead of you – is a very dangerous practice, both for the tailgater and also the auto in front. Unfortunately, numerous people still perform it.

In fact, the likelihood that you will tailgate appears to it is in at the very least partly affected by components including sex and the kind of automobile you drive, as this table shows:

 
TailgatingType that Vehicle
Sex that DriverFamily / economy CarsSports CarsSUVs
Male13%23%18%
Female13%20%25%

If friend leave much less than the recommended two or 3 seconds between you and the car you are following, you danger driving into the ago of that if it stops suddenly.

Tailgating can also feel really aggressive. If a driver is being followed too closely, it might make that or her feeling pressured and also even anxious. Anxious, flustered vehicle drivers are an ext prone come mistakes or bad decisions, which might endanger both cars.

Some drivers likewise react aggressively come tailgaters, in the same means that part people come to be angry when you attack their an individual space. A typical reaction to tailgating is to hit the brakes all of sudden to flash the brake lights and cause the vehicle behind to brake all of sudden as well.

This is clearly a attention maneuver due to the fact that the car behind can not react in time – or the suddenly braking could cause a third car further earlier to run into the tailgater.

Furthermore, tailgating and this sort of suddenly braking come warn a tailgater off deserve to easily cause one or both motorists to lose their cool, and this actions can conveniently lead to road rage, much more dangerous driving and even a full-blown confrontation.

The advice is clear – nothing tailgate. Make certain you always leave at least two secs of distance in between you and the automobile in front, or even better, try to leaving three. If who is tailgating you, don’t slam on the brakes. Instead, slow down gradually and let castle pass.

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Safe, defensive driving is constantly best

Nobody desires to be affiliated in an accident, and also the best method to prevent it is to constantly employ defensive driving techniques. Part of this is leave a for sure distance in between you and the automobile in front, and by applying the two- or three- second rule, you have actually an easy means to calculation this.