Highway driving is almost an art form: there are so many things to keep in mind the entire time, and it truly takes a balance to do it right. One of the biggest challenges in driving is to keep a safe following distance. This will ensure that you and those around you will stay safe and avoid accidents as much as possible. Here are 3 tips to maintain a safe following distance.
1. Use the 4-second rule.
For the average large vehicle, the 4-second rule is the best way to make sure you’re not following the car in front of you too closely. To utilize this rule, pick a stationary object up ahead. This could be a road sign, a tree, or even a piece of tire on the shoulder of the highway. Count the number of seconds in between the car in front of you passing the object and your vehicle passing it.
If you count at least 4 seconds, you are at a safe following distance. However, if you count less than 4 seconds, slow down a bit and create more distance between your vehicle and the one in front of you. The last thing you want is for the car in front of you to press the brakes and cause you to swerve to avoid hitting them.
2. Adjust your following distance according to weather.
In clear conditions, the 4-second rule is all you need to make sure you’re following at a safe distance. However, if it’s rainy, foggy, or the weather conditions are generally unclear, it’s a good idea to increase the space between you and the car in front of you. When the weather is particularly bad or the roads are slick, double the distance. Slick roads can cause it to be more difficult to slow down completely, so it’s definitely better to be safe than sorry.
3. Be conscious of tailgating.
There’s nothing more obnoxious on the road than being tailgated, so do your best to avoid being a tailgater. Along with the 4-second rule, if you count less than 4 seconds between your vehicle and the one in front of you, you are tailgating. Not only is it dangerous, but it’s likely that the person in front of you will become frustrated; road rage is nothing to play around with, so it’s best to avoid provoking other drivers. Don’t cause a dangerous situation that could have easily been prevented!
At Horizon Transport, we are committed to keeping you safe on the road. We hope that these tips for maintaining a safe following distance will help you on your next trip. We wish you safe travels!