Following Too Closely

follow too closelyDo you follow the "two second" rule? Pick a point that the vehicle in front of you passes, and count the number of seconds it takes you to reach that point. If it is less than two seconds, you are following too closely.

If you are pulling a trailer or carrying a heavy load, increase the time to three seconds. If the road conditions are poor or someone is tailgating you, increase the time to four seconds. This distance is your margin of safety, if something happens you may need every millimeter of it to avoid a collision.

The Motor Vehicle Act says that the driver of a vehicle must not follow another vehicle more closely than is reasonable and prudent having regard for the speed, amount and nature of traffic and condition of the highway.

It is specific about commercial vehicles (a vehicle having either a truck or a van body) and combinations of vehicles (any type of vehicle pulling one or more trailers). These vehicles must not follow within 60 meters of another commercial vehicle or combination outside a business or residential district unless it is passing.

Tailgating limits a drivers ability to see and anticipate. Traffic signals and lane obstructions are hidden by the vehicle in front particularly if it is a large one. If the vehicle in front slows, the tailgater is forced to make an abrupt action that may result in a collision other than the one they were trying to avoid.

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