Your Voice

Your Voice: Stop tailgating – keep your distance

Drivers should stay at least two seconds behind any vehicle in front of them.

Your Voice: Stop tailgating – keep your distance

Keeping a safe distance is not only a good practice to prevent COVID-19 from spreading, but keeping a safe distance while driving on highways in particular is also a good and healthy habit to prevent fatal accidents. 


We are not alone on the roads and will continue to suffer from careless drivers who drive on the shoulders, change lanes without using signals, and flash headlights to push you to speed up or challenge you. 


Unfortunately, we witness on the roads several unsafe and unjustifiable practices on a daily basis. Tailgating (driver follows the car in front too closely) is one of these repeated bad driving practices. 


Tailgating is a contributing factor in many of the crashes on the road. Car accidents can happen in just a few seconds, and as there are a large number of vehicles on the roads, no one can anticipate the amount of loss (assets and people) that might result from this unsafe practice. 


Defensive drivers will always choose to wait for a few seconds or even hours rather than putting himself/herself and others at risk that might lead to serious damage. 


It is critical that you maintain enough distance between your vehicle and the vehicle in front of you. This will help you to have a better view of the road, and reduce the possibility of crashing (slamming) into the vehicle in front if they were to stop suddenly. 


It will also give you the time you need to recognize a hazard in front of your and respond safely. As a defensive driver, your role on the roads is not limited to driving only, but to safeguard yourself and others by adhering to the safety regulations and practices. 


It is known that the “two-second” rule technique. The is a simple way to ensure a safe distance between your vehicle and the vehicle in front of you. The idea is simply that in the ideal situation, a driver should stay at least two seconds (approximately six meters under normal driving conditions) behind any vehicle that is directly in front of his or her vehicle. In other words, keeping a minimum of two seconds time gap will create enough space for you to respond safely to any emergency that might happen on the road. 


Driving on highways requires different measures than driving in urban areas or off-road, weather conditions (fog, wet, etc.) or poor road conditions should be considered to determine the proper safe distance. Some areas recommend a three-second rule instead of the two-second rule, but both are the same in principle. Simply stated, the longer the gap you maintain between your vehicle and the vehicle ahead of you, the bigger the safety margin you create for yourself to respond safely in case of sudden accidents on the road. 


Arriving at your destination on time is not an acceptable justification to violate the traffic rules and put yourself and others at risk. If arriving on time is so significant, consider driving conditions and weather beforehand, and leave for your destination earlier. 


Always remember that driving is a skill (art), and discipline is needed. 



Your Voice reflects the thoughts and opinions of the writer and not necessarily those of the publication.


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