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A safe following distance may help you avoid a rear-end collision

Car accidents are an unfortunate reality. These incidents occur every day, and they typically have devastating outcomes. In some cases, you cannot avoid being involved in such an incident because someone else's actions cause the crash.

Fortunately, there are some ways in which you could work to protect yourself from causing crashes in certain situations and hopefully avoid other drivers who could strike your vehicle. In particular, rear-end collisions are often avoidable, but when they occur, they can cause serious or even fatal injuries to the individuals involved.

Working to avoid a rear-end collision

Because you certainly do not want to cause an injury-causing accident or any crash, you may want to take certain steps to better ensure that you lessen the likelihood of involvement in a rear-end collision. One of the main ways of avoiding this type of crash involves your following distance, which refers to the amount of space between the front of your vehicle and the rear of the vehicle in front of you.

By keeping a safe distance away from the vehicle in front of you, you give yourself more time and space to stop your vehicle or take other evasive action in the event that the in-front driver suddenly slows or stops. A safe following distance could also prove helpful in the event that you were not paying close attention and failed to notice the other vehicle slowing or stopping and need to suddenly stop yourself.

What is a safe following distance?

Understandably, you may not know how much space is too much and how much is not enough. In general, the National Safety Council considers a three-second space as a safe distance. You can measure your distance by choosing a stationary object on or near the road and begin counting when the vehicle in front of you passes that object. If you have kept a safe distance, you should have the ability to finish counting to at least three before your vehicle passes the same object.

In regard to too much distance, there may not be such a thing. In fact, in certain conditions, it would prove safer for you to increase your distance, like when roads are slick and you may need more time to stop. Additionally, it may prove wise to keep more distance between your vehicle and the one in front in the event that someone follows too closely behind you. Having enough space may mean that you will not need to suddenly stop and risk the person behind you striking your vehicle.

What if an accident is unavoidable?

Unfortunately, even if you do your part to avoid hitting the vehicle in front of you, someone could still hit the rear of your car. When this happens, you may suffer serious injuries. If so, you could have legal grounds to seek compensation from the driver considered at fault for the damages resulting from the incident.

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