You Don't Increase The Distance If The Cars In Front Of You Are Tailgating

On a Colorado highway two years ago there was a 49-car pileup which resulted in 8 killed and 26 sent to the hospital.  The safe(r) distance between cars is the 2-second rule.  Most drivers, tailgaters, follow the 1-second rule which does not give anyone time to avoid an accident if the car in front develops a serious situation.  Of course, even if the 49th car was following the 2-second rule it most probably would not have given the driver enough time to stop to avoid being involved in that accident.  

Although I (nearly) always follow the 2-second rule, whenever I see the car(s) in front of me tailgating I increase the distance between us by following the 4-second rule.  The easiest way to judge this distance is to use the Tick-Tock method.  Each time you say Tick-Tock, one second has passed.  If you pass the point where the rear of the car in front of you was when you arrive there, you were tailgating.

Two seconds - Minimum safe distance.  Tick-Tock, Tick-Tock = 2-seconds.

Four seconds - Tick-Tock, Tick-Tock, Tick-Tock, Tick-Tock = 4-seconds.

Or, you can be part of the 17,000 killed and/or the 800,000 people hospitalized by tailgating accidents each year . . . your choice.


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