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Road safety begins with two-seconds

Road safety begins with two-seconds

Using the two-second rule could save your life…

Getting about on the roads you quickly realize that tailgating is an ongoing issue and that’s despite it being exceedingly easy to give other road users a bit of space.

Did you know that rear end collisions are the most common type of accident?

And often these accidents are caused simply by trailing cars not following the (at least) two-second rule.

How to follow the ‘Two-Second Rule’:

  • In wet weather, two seconds needs to be come four seconds. This is because reduced visibility means spotting hazards is harder, and tyres have less grip on wet roads, meaning it takes longer to stop.
  • Don’t assume that different rules apply to drivers of modern cars with fantastic brakes. Effective braking – and doing it early enough – still relies on observant, alert drivers.
  • Check your driver seating position to ensure you can brake hard if you suddenly need to. This can be compromised if your seat is positioned too far forward, or too far back.
  • Make a habit of observing what’s going on beyond the vehicle in front. Seeing the possible problems well ahead means fewer nasty surprises.
  • If you’re concerned that someone is following you too closely, then leave plenty of extra room ahead of you so that you can lose speed gradually if you need to. Let them pass when it’s safe, so that their presence behind you doesn’t turn into a risky distraction.

Peter Rodger is a road safety expert with GEM Motoring Assist, he says keeping a bigger gap from the car in front is basic common sense.

“Drivers regularly place being tailgated up there at the top of the list of annoying, unpleasant and dangerous things they experience on the road,”

“The two-second rule is a great guide, and it works because it’s time-based, not distance-based.

“There’s flexibility that matches your speed, so it doesn’t mean carrying a spreadsheet of distances and speeds around in your head.

“You should note as the vehicle in front passes a fixed point, such as a tree or lamp-post.

“Then you say, ‘Only a fool breaks the two-second rule.’

“If you are still speaking when you pass the same fixed point, then you are following too close.”

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About Kate Richards 1679 Articles
Kate has always had an interest in writing and cars and now as a key member of the Behind the Wheel website team she gets to spend her days consumed by both. Aside from being a contributor and an editor at Behind the Wheel, Kate enjoys driving her Lancer EVO and walking her beloved dog, Max!

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