Tips To Stay Safe On The Road

Tips To Stay Safe On The Road

Tips To Stay Safe On The Road

Figure Out Your Safe Driving Distance

The time-lapse method is the most popular method for figuring out the recommended safe following distance:

  • Select a stationary object along the road to use as a marker, such as a telephone pole, traffic sign or light pole.
  • When the rear end of the vehicle in front of you passes the object, start counting using the “one thousand one, one thousand two” counting method that many of us learned in elementary school. This will help you to avoid counting too fast.
  • If you pass the object before you finish counting, you are following too closely and need to slow down to increase your distance. If you reach the object after you finish counting, it’s likely that you’re driving at a safe distance from the vehicle in front of you.

The two-second rule is equal to one vehicle length for every 5 MPH of the current speed. It is easier to use seconds, instead of feet or car lengths, because vehicle sizes vary. Additionally, many drivers cannot accurately estimate distances. The two-second rule is internationally accepted as a general measurement for safe driving distance, so it’s a good practice to keep in mind no matter where you are driving!

Make Sure to Factor in Specific Driving Conditions

If driving conditions are ideal, with clear skies and dry roads, the two-second rule works well. But when the driving conditions impact your ability to stop your vehicle, you should increase your braking distance. These conditions include:

  • Inclement weather — Icy or wet roads can make sudden stops much more risky.
  • Road conditions — If patches of the road are covered in dirt or gravel, safe stopping can be challenging at any speed.
  • Limited visibility — If it’s foggy or if roadwork reduces the visibility of the drivers you are following, it can pose a safety risk.
  • Towing — If you’re towing anything heavy, like a camper or boat, the added weight will require you to keep extra distance between your vehicle and the car in front of you.

Always consider these types of conditions to avoid rear-end collisions and keep you and your passengers safe.

Consider the Dangerous Consequences of Following Too Closely

According to the Insurance Information Institute, rear-end crashes accounted for 18% of all fatal collisions in the U.S. in 2017, with a total of 2,456 fatalities. It’s a lot less risky to take the time and apply the two-second rule to help protect you and your passengers. It could even help save a life in the event of a sudden stop!

Beyond the safety factor, incorporating the two-second rule can also help you save money in the long run. It’s never a bad thing to avoid a costly auto repair bill, but practicing safe driving might also help you qualify for a safe driving discount on your insurance policy.

Generally speaking, in order qualify for these discounts, you must meet the following requirements:

  • No moving violations or accidents for the previous 36 months (varies by state).
  • Live in a state that offers safe driver discounts.

Save Money with NatGen

Maintaining a safe following distance on the road is important, and it might allow you to qualify for a safe driver discount from National General! Contact your local agent today to learn more about your eligibility and other potential discounts.