What is a safe following distance?

On Behalf of | Mar 10, 2022 | Motor Vehicle Accidents |

One of the best things that you can do to keep yourself safe when you’re driving is to maintain a proper following distance at all times. But have you ever wondered exactly how far back you should be? How much distance do you need to leave, and what do you do if the car behind you wasn’t leaving the same amount?

First and foremost, you want to attempt to leave three seconds between you and the car that is driving ahead of you. In the city, this may not be much distance at all due to the low speeds. On an expressway, you may be much farther back. Since you are using time and judging how far three seconds is, rather than just maintaining a strict distance, you know that you always have enough time to react to events ahead of you at any speed.

But what about a tailgater?

The unfortunate reality is simply that other people are still going to tailgate you. They’re not going to leave you the same distance that you’re leaving the next car. They may do this on purpose if they feel that you’re driving too slowly, or they may do it on accident, simply not knowing how far back they need to be. But it always puts you at risk because you may react in time to something ahead of you, but the driver behind you may not have enough space, and they could hit your vehicle.

If this does happen and you wind up in a serious rear-end accident, you need to know how to seek financial compensation for your medical bills, your lost wages and any other costs that you have after the crash.