The so called “fender bender” car accidents are perhaps the biggest contributor to claims from car insurance. This becomes especially evident during rainy weather on our urban roads. Why are these accidents such a big threat to vehicle safety?
When drivers follow too closely behind other vehicles, they limit their forward vision and are not able to spot potential emergencies unfolding. By the time they see the problem, it’s too late to do anything about it.
It is said that at 120km/h, the combination of a driver’s reaction time and the vehicle’s stopping distance could be as much as six seconds. Few drivers however keep an ample following distance, meaning they are unable to successfully avoid an incident like the driver ahead of them having a head-on collision.
It is advised that drivers keep at least a two to three second following distance from the cars ahead of them. This would give drivers a time cushion to swerve round someone else’s crash. A longer following distance could also allow them to use their vision creatively and to start predicting things they can’t actually see.
On the Arrive Alive website we refer to the “2 Second Rule” in a section on Following Distances and Road Safety. We would like to quote:
“The 2 Second Rule”
Most International road safety campaigns refer to the “2 Second Rule” as a guideline for safe following distances. A point on the road is noted, two seconds are counted, and if that point is still visible then there’s probably enough following distance.
The 2 Second Rule is applied as follows:
- Watch the vehicle in front of you pass a landmark – such as a sign, tree, or power pole – at the side of the road.
- As it passes the landmark, start counting “one thousand and one, one thousand and two”.
- If you pass the landmark before you finish saying all eight words, you are following too closely. Slow down, pick another landmark and repeat the words, to make sure you have increased your following distance.
- This rule will ensure that you keep the correct following distance, no matter what speed you are travelling at.
These simple suggestions might help you to avoid unnecessary claims from your car insurance. View the Arrive Alive website for more info on the importance of following distances.