Posted on: Nov. 04, 2016 in Driving, Safety, Accidents

According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, rear-end collisions are the most common car accidents. This type of accident occurs when a driver does not have enough time to stop their car before it hits another vehicle in front of it. When traffic slows down or comes to a stop, the vehicles that follow behind must be able to react quickly enough to avoid a crash.


One way to achieve this is to follow the three second rule. Simply, this means there is a minimum of three seconds worth of distance between you and the car in front of you. Determining a safe following distance is easy.

First, pick a marker up ahead. This could be an overhead sign, a roadside building, a tree, or some other stationary object. When the vehicle ahead of you passes the object, begin to count the seconds until your vehicle passes that same landmark. Count by using the one-one thousand, two-one thousand, three-one thousand method.

If you count at least three seconds, you’re at a safe following distance. Keep in mind more is better, especially in rain or snow. If you pass the object before three seconds are up, then you are too close. You’ll want to slow down and count again when there’s more distance between the cars.

Remember, all the distance in the world won’t be enough if you’re not paying attention to the road and the other cars. Texting, talking, fiddling with the radio, eating or drinking can all distract you, causing you to use up some of your precious few seconds to react. Keep distractions to a minimum, follow speed limits, and remain vigilant in monitoring traffic conditions. If you notice the roadway becoming more congested, slow down and leave additional space to allow for sudden stops.

By avoiding tailgating and following too closely, you’ll have more chance to avoid a rear-end collision.

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