Category - Defensive Driving

Is The 2-Second Rule Good Enough?

How long does it take to stop your car – if the car in front of you stops on a dime?  The answer is   …   it depends.

 

First, our brains need to compute that the car has stopped and that we need to stop right away, or we’ll crash into them.  That might take a second.  It might take longer if we’re having a conversation or the kids are yelling in the back of the car.  Or, we’re eating or talking on our phones.  Sometimes, we might be daydreaming about a problem that we have and that we need to solve.

 

Visual reminder to start counting at "Zero" - instead of starting at "One", when counting to "Three".

It might take two or three seconds to realize that we’d better stop right away.  Race car drivers are considered perfect if they can stop within a half a second.  None of us are perfect and we do have those distractions that I just mentioned.

 

Why don’t we have more rear-end crashes – then?

 

Most of the time the car in front of us can’t stop immediately because it has its own momentum and that gives us a second or two to notice that they put their brakes on and we’d better stop, too.

 

There are exceptions, of course.  Maybe they weren’t paying attention and a semi-truck stopped suddenly and they didn’t notice.  In that case, they would smash into the Semi and that wouldn’t give YOU time to stop, either.  This is when a driver gets seriously injured.  Pay attention.

 

One time, I was a passenger in a car and the driver WAS paying attention. But, it was twilight and there was a truck in front of him.  He had a bunch of wooden pallets in the back of the truck and one of the pallets suddenly went flying off the truck – onto the road.  The driver responded quickly – but, not quickly enough to avoid an accident.

 

The underbelly of his car suffered quite a bit of damage.  He didn’t have total body coverage and it cost several thousand to get his car fixed.  At least no one in the vehicle suffered any physical injuries.


The main problem is that if the car in front of you brakes heavily, the driver behind him might not even have time to react before hitting it.

 

Keep the following in mind:

  • Motorcycles take longer to stop than cars do.
  • Trucks take even longer to stop than do either motorcycles or cars.
  • Cars that have worn out tires take longer to stop. Different things affect the stop distance – such as, the type of tire, how it’s inflated, the suspension of the tires and how they are balanced.
  • If you have anti-lock brakes, (ABS), then you’re in a better situation than someone that does not have anti-lock brakes.
  • Older drivers can have reaction times that exceed 1.5 seconds.

 

Is the 2 second rule enough time – to avoid a collision?

 

The total stopping distance consists of your thinking distance and your braking distance. Under ideal conditions, you’d have one second to realize that you need to stop and one second to bring the auto to a stop, or to take an evasive action.  Technically, two seconds is not enough when you factor in reaction times.

 

When should you use the four-second rule?

 

Increase your following distance to four seconds per car length, if it’s wet or icy out.  That will give you more time and more room to stop properly. 

 


We Will Fight For You!


Call the Law Office of Gerald Fugit at 432-301-9252.

Make the Streets Safer

A large part of defensive driving is being prepared for the unexpected. Defensive driving has been shown to reduce the number of traffic incidents.

The road can be a dangerous place. You cannot control the actions of other drivers. You need to depend on your own actions while driving.

One of the best defensive driving tips is to just pay attention. People who drive while distracted don’t see important things happening in front of them. And, then it’s too late.

You could ram into the vehicle in front of you if you look away from the road and don’t notice traffic slowing down.

Image of a female driver, with a tree in the front grill of her vehicle.

To avoid dangerous accidents while driving:

• Put your smartphone up while you are driving.
• If you are feeling tired, pull over and take a nap.
• Don’t daydream or apply makeup while driving.

 

People often get into accidents without realizing that danger was there until after the crash  has happened. This is especially common when the other car pulls out in front of you. You’ll need to respond quickly or you’ll get hit.

 

You’ve not been paying enough attention to the road if you feel like a car appeared out of nowhere!

 

One way to prevent this from happening is to scan intersections and your mirrors. If you constantly scan the around you, you might be able to avoid accidents.

Too many fender benders happen simply because someone is driving too close to the car in front of them. Don’t tailgate!

 

If you need to stop suddenly, you could end up rear-ending them if they have to stop suddenly. Try to keep at least two car lengths between your car and the car in front of you. If you’re driving in bad weather, leave even more space because it takes longer to stop in slippery conditions. Brake early and often. Don’t wait until the last second to stop.

 

If you see a car swerving on the road – what might happen next?

 

Whether you see a drunk driver or loose materials in an open truck, do your best to get out of their way and avoid that dangerous situation.

You could turn leave the freeway or move into a lane that gives you enough room to pass safely. You might want to report the situation to the highway patrol – after you turn onto a different road.

 

Your goal as a defensive driver, is to spot traffic risks and hazards and predict what could happen if you don’t take immediate action.

 

Image of a semi-truck that jumped the guardrail.

 

Make the streets safer, by being a Defensive Driver. Not everyone will follow the rules. If you have a traffic accident – call the Law Office of Gerald Fugit to get you out of a jam.



We Will Fight For You!


Call the Law Office of Gerald Fugit at 432-301-9252.