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Could a longer following distance prevent car accidents?

On Behalf of | Jul 4, 2022 | Car Accidents |

Chain reaction car accidents can be terrifying if you get caught up in one. Something happens ahead of you on the road, such as a driver suddenly hitting the brakes or two other cars getting involved in a head-on collision. Then the vehicles behind that crash start to run into each other and drivers try to stop.

You often see this in unfavorable weather. If it’s raining hard and visibility is low, or if it’s foggy and people are going to naturally have slower reaction times to events ahead of them, chain reaction collisions are more likely. But they can also happen on beautiful sunny days when everyone is just driving too close together and the event that spurs the accident is sudden and unexpected.

A 3-second gap

One way to reduce the odds of being involved in an accident like this is simply to maintain a three-second gap between vehicles at all times. This is what is generally considered a safe following distance. Watch the vehicle ahead of you to see when it passes a certain point down the road, and then count off the seconds until your own vehicle passes it. It should be at least three seconds. It may need to be longer if conditions are not optimal.

The problem is that a lot of people only leave one or two seconds – or sometimes less. Accidental tailgating is a huge problem, and it can definitely cause these chain-reaction crashes. If you do get hit by someone else and suffer serious injuries, perhaps because they were following too closely and being negligent, then you may be able to seek financial compensation for your medical bills and other costs.

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