Have you ever got into an unfortunate situation when the car ahead of you suddenly applied brakes but you couldn’t manage to do so, and you ended up bumping into it? If you did, you must have realized the importance of maintaining safe distance from vehicles ahead of you, while you drive. However, it has been found that majority of the drivers do not maintain safe distance and ultimately have to bear bigger damages. Apart from the fact that people in Pakistan do not pay attention towards learning safe driving rules before they get onto the driving seats, there has also been a significant increase in traffic congestion across the major cities of Pakistan, which is a cause of increasing traffic accidents.
How often do you get close to a car ahead? Close enough to be able to see what’s on the parcel tray? If you do this often, you are in danger of running into the back of car ahead of you. I’d recommend you to take out the time and review your driving habits. Keep in mind, no matter how abruptly the driver in front of you pressed the brake pedal, by law you’ll always be held responsible for the damage, if you have hit a car from the back.
Whether you own a car with drum brakes, disc brakes, hydraulic brakes, ABS brakes or any other kind, the braking is heavily dependent on our reaction time. According to experts, the average human reaction time in this regard is 1.5 seconds, which is quite enough for a crash to happen.
So the simple rule of thumb is, the closer you are to the car ahead, the less your reaction time needs to be. I’m not suggesting you to maintain a very large distance from the car ahead of you but advising you to drive at such a distance where you’re not getting left behind and can still stop well in time, in case an emergency brake is applied by the vehicle in front of you.
Experts state that a three-second-gap between your car and the one in front will give you enough time to react to any emergency maneuvers that the driver in front might need to make. At the same time you won’t be left behind.
You may take help from this diagram to figure out the usual thinking distance and braking distance.
The distances shown above are for general guidance and can differ, depending on your thinking distance, road surface, weather conditions and also the condition of your vehicle’s brakes.