3-Second Rule

Rear end collisions are the most common types of accidents by far. According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration they account for about 29% of car accidents. So, how can we decrease our chances of getting in this type of accident? One major rule may help. It is called the three second rule.

This is when you leave a three second distance between your car and the car in front of you. You need this space to be able to react to things on the road safely and with enough time to avoid an accident. 

How to test the three second rule:

To test how many seconds are in between you and that car, follow these simple steps:

  • Pick a marker on the road such as a sign, tree, etc.
  • Note when the vehicle ahead of you passes that marker 
  • Then count see how many seconds it takes (count 1-1,000; 2-1,000; 3-1,000) for you to pass the same spot

         If you count less than three seconds, the distance between you and that car is not enough. You should slow down and increase the space.

It is also important to keep in mind the road conditions. The three second rule is meant for ideal road conditions. If the conditions are poor for example there is rain, snow ice, or poor visibility you will most definitely need to slow down and increase the distance between you and that car in front of you to maybe even double the seconds to ensure a safe distance. 

For larger vehicles such as trucks or busses the distance needed is even greater. It takes much longer for a semi-truck to stop than a normal vehicle.

Remember the three second rule is only effective if you drive distraction free! Keep cellphones down and eyes on the road. 

Contact: Glisson Law