Safety Tips: Three-second rule while driving?

  • Mar 16, 2016
[caption id="attachment_97543" align="aligncenter" width="1024"]Image Source: Travelers Youtube Channel Image Source: Travelers Youtube Channel[/caption]

Tailgating, especially at high speeds, is not at all a good idea. It does not give you the time to react or avert an accident under panic braking situations. So, what really is a safe distance to keep while driving? First of all, this aspect should not be measured in distance, but time. Since, it is easier for the driver to judge it while on the move. This is where the 'three second rule' comes really handy. So, how does it work? Let's find out.

Imagine a scenario where you are driving at 65 kmph. The car ahead of you is at a distance but there is no way to judge if you have enough space to manoeuvre or brake hard. This is what you need to do. Select any object like a light pole, tree or a road sign placed alongside the road. Once the rear end of the car in front of you crosses that marker, count to three. A simple way to do that is say, “one thousand one, one thousand two, one thousand three.” If you have crossed the marker before 'three' ends, you will end up tailgating the car in front of you in case of panic braking.

According to research from different sources, under normal circumstances with the driver not under influence, the mind of an average person takes 1.5 seconds to react and another 1.5 seconds for a hatchback to come to a complete halt. This is irrespective of the vehicle equipped with ABS or not and under normal weather conditions as well. If you are driving a sedan, increase another second, an SUV, add another one to your timer and six seconds or more if you are driving a heavy vehicle. Under bad weather, add at least another second to your clock.

The empty space in front of you will also ensure that in case you are tailgated, you will not be colliding with the car in front of you. That said, be sure to swerve your car immediately if there is an empty lane or brake very hard. This rule is applicable only while driving at considerable speeds over 45 kmph and will not be necessary in slow moving or bumper to bumper traffic.

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