Following Distance

Credit (Smith System)


Are you maintaining proper following distance?

On average the following distance for commercial vehicles should be 6-8 seconds on a perfect day.  Drivers should increase the following distance if the roads and weather conditions are not optimal.  Following distance gives drivers better visibility of the road ahead and allows them to anticipate and react as needed.  Most drivers confuse following distance and stopping distance.  Stopping distance requires drivers to identify potential hazards and react to them.  Drivers who follow to closely lose sight of the bigger picture and will only focus on what is in front of them and not giving themselves adequate space and time between the car in front, knowing they could possibly rear-end the vehicle in front of them should they stop suddenly. 

By drivers seeing the big picture and maintaining the proper following distance they could reduce the 20,000 accidents that happen annually due to tail-gating.  This is only 5% of all CMV recorded accidents.  Drivers should make a conscientious effort to maintain the 6-8 sec following distance and more when necessary.

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