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What is the three-second driving rule and how can it save lives?

On Behalf of | Apr 1, 2021 | Motor Vehicle Accidents

When you’re in the car, the three-second rule is one of the most important rules that you can follow. It can literally save your life, the lives of those in your car, and even the lives of those in the car ahead of you. It is crucial that you adhere to it every time you drive.


What is it?


The three-second rule is simply the idea that you need to leave a three-second gap between your front bumper and the next car’s rear bumper. This is a safety buffer. Even when traffic is moving smoothly, you never know when things are going to rapidly change. When they do, that space gives you time to react. With less space, you may hit the next car. With three seconds, you have time to stop or at least to drastically reduce your speed before impact. Due to the correlation between speed and the odds of serious injury, even this change is beneficial.


How can you calculate it?


The reason that the gap is measured in time, and not distance, is that it changes depending on how fast you’re moving. In a 25-mile-per-hour residential zone, you may be fairly close. On an interstate traveling at 70 miles per hour, the gap is vastly larger. It’s three seconds either way.


To calculate it, watch the car ahead of you as it goes by something imobile. You can use a tree, a bridge, a road sign, a parked car or anything of this nature. You just count off three seconds from the time that car passes your chosen object until the time that you do. If anything, you want to err on the side of leaving too much space, so four seconds is better than two.


What to do if you get injured in an accident


Driving safely is something everyone must do. The three-second rule can save lives and prevent accidents, but the drivers behind you may not follow it as well as you do. If they hit you and you suffer serious injuries, then you need to look into your options to seek financial compensation.

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