Follow the 3 Second Rule
As a leading towing company our tow truck drivers are on the road daily. Our towing service is called to all sorts of roadside emergencies across Melbourne and the Mornington Peninsula. In our last blog post, we discussed the need for drivers to stop using their mobiles while driving – even glancing at an incoming text takes your eyes off the road for too long. This week we’re reminding drivers to keep a safe following distance. Following distance is another road rule that often gets broken, and it’s a big cause of rear-end collisions.
Tailgating, or driving too close to the car in front, is seen as an aggressive and dangerous driving behaviour. And for good reason – international studies have concluded that a driver needs 1 ½ seconds to react to a car in front suddenly applying brakes. That’s just reaction time – you still need to account for stopping time. If you’re driving too close, you won’t be able to stop.
Here are some approximate numbers:
At 60km/h you will travel 12m in your reaction time and another 24m before the car stops
At 100km/h you will travel 18 – 20m in your reaction time and another 75m before you stop
The 3 Second Rule
The 3-second rule is a good one to think of when trying to establish a safe driving distance, especially when travelling at speed. Choose a landmark – a pole, tree, signpost – and make sure there are 3 seconds between the car in front passing it and yourself. Then you know you’ll have enough time to stop if something suddenly happens.
If someone cuts into the gap, take a breath and back off. If you find the driver behind is too close – change lanes and let them pass.
In adverse weather conditions increase the gap to 6 seconds.
Following Distance Saves Lives
Don’t mistakenly rely on modern technology to shorten your braking distance. Although anti-locking and stability control braking systems will allow for greater control of the vehicle when having to stop suddenly, they will not reduce the braking distance significantly enough to avoid an accident if your following distance is too short.
The basic rule is the faster you’re going the longer your following distance should be.
Gardenstate Towing Company
At Gardenstate Towing we’re on call 24/7. Our towing company is able to help you in any roadside emergency. If you’re stuck or involved in an accident in Melbourne or its greater region, give us a call.