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Why It Is Important to Maintain a Safe Following Distance at All Times

January 30, 2018 | Car Accident Lawyer

In driving school, you likely learned that safe motorist should stay a safe distance behind the drivers in front of them. The truth is, like you, most drivers simply drive at what they deem to be a “comfortable” distance between other cars — a distance that’s generally too close for real safety. After all, there’s a reason driving schools teach new drivers to ensure an ample distance between themselves and the cars in front of them: It saves lives. In fact, few other driving rules are as important as this.

If you can simply keep a safe “cushion” between your car and other cars on the road, you’ll be able to avoid most major accidents.

How to Determine a Safe Following Distance on the Road

When it comes to safe following distances, there’s no single right way to do things. Rather, safe following distances will inevitably vary based on several factors, including:

  • Traffic speed
  • Weather conditions
  • The type of vehicle you’re operating

In optimal weather conditions in a typical vehicle (normal size and without a trailer), it’s advised to drive “2 seconds between vehicles.” The easiest way to know if you’re 2 seconds away from the vehicle in front of you is to pick an object near the side of the road and as soon as the rear of the vehicle in front of you passes the object you’ve chosen, begin counting seconds. You should be able to get to 2 before the very front of your car reaches the same object. If your car reaches the object sooner than your count to 2, you’re following too closely and should fall back a bit.

Following Distances in Poor Conditions or When Driving Unique Vehicles

Things change when conditions are poor. For example, if it’s raining, snowing, or sleeting, up your following distance to at least 4 seconds. It’s sadly common for vehicle accidents to occur in these conditions simply because drivers don’t consider that slick roads will impact their ability to stop quickly when needed.

Similarly, if you’re hitching a trailer or driving a large truck or motorhome, put at least 2 additional seconds between you and the car in front of you. The extra weight you’re hauling will inevitably add to your stopping times.

Have You Been Injured in an Auto Accident?

Even despite maintaining safe following distances, vehicle accidents can occur at any time. And being seriously injured in an auto accident that wasn’t your fault means you’re likely eligible for compensation from the at-fault party.

Post-accident surgeries, medications, and long-term rehabilitation and recovery periods are all extremely expensive and can be immensely painful. Furthermore, the mental and emotional toll that is endured by you and your family after auto accidents can have ramifications you don’t expect. Emotional anguish, lost wages and future earnings, loss of consortium or companionship, and other distress are common with auto accident injuries.

Contact Warnett Hallen LLP Today

If you have recently been the victim of a car accident, Warnett Hallen LLP can help. You’ll meet personally with a highly-qualified and experienced attorney who can assess your case and present you with legal options — for free. See our numerous success stories here.

For your free initial consultation appointment, contact Warnett Hallen LLP today and get the compensation you deserve for your injuries.

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