Car crashes can happen from all directions so drivers must take a range of precautions to prevent them.
One they can take to reduce the chance of running into someone from behind is known as the three-second rule.
Why three seconds?
Do you know what a safe following distance is? Are you aware of how that distance will change as you speed up or slow down? Probably not. It’s simply too complicated to remember and try and calculate as you are driving along. Hence road safety experts came up with three seconds.
Pick a point on the road ahead or by the side of it. For example, a bridge, a signpost or a chevron on the asphalt. When the car in front reaches it, start counting to three. You should not reach that same mark before you have reached three.
The distance between you will increase as you speed up and decrease as you slow down giving you an ever-changing safe following distance.
Sometimes three seconds is not enough
Three seconds is a minimum based on good conditions. You’ll need to increase it if visibility is poor, if the road surface is wet or slippery or if you are not feeling at your best and could be a little slow to react to things.
If every driver maintains at least three seconds between themselves and the vehicle in front, rear-end crashes would soon diminish. Unfortunately many are unaware of this rule, ignore it or get distracted and forget to apply it. If you are involved in a rear-end accident or any accident and are injured it is important to contact an experienced personal injury attorney to determine your rights and options.