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Columbus, Ohio

Safe Following Distance Will Help Prevent Columbus Rear-End Accidents

Ohio car accident attorneyAs a driver in Columbus, Franklin County, Delaware County, Licking County, Fairfield County, Pickaway County, Madison County and Union County, it is your responsibility to make smart and safe choices. This means that you want to follow both the rules of the road and best practices to avoid becoming involved in a crash.

An experienced rear-end accident lawyer knows one of the most important safety rules is not to follow the car in front of yours too closely and to make sure you leave enough following distance so you have time to process the actions of the lead driver and react to them.

Leaving a Safe Following Distance Helps Prevent Crashes

When you see the driver in front of you start to slow or stop the vehicle, it is going to take time for your brain to process this information and take action. Most drivers have a reaction time of about two seconds if they are paying attention, but distracted motorists (including people on hands-free cell phones) can take longer to react and respond.

You need to be sure to leave enough space to react, respond and slow down or hit the brakes before you strike the lead vehicle. Unfortunately, this does not happen in far too many cases. Rear-end crashes are the fifth leading cause of car accidents in America and tailgating drivers (motorists who are too close to the vehicle in front) are involved in around 30 percent of auto accidents in the United States. A tailgating driver can be held responsible for a crash and required to compensate accident victims who are hurt as a result of his choice to drive in an unsafe way.

To avoid becoming a tailgater that puts yourself and others at risk, you need to ensure you always leave a "safe" following distance between your own car and the car in front of you. The question is, how can you be certain you are leaving yourself a safe following distance? There are a couple of different rules to consider.

Driver's Prep reports that some motorists measure their following distance by looking at the number of car lengths between their vehicle and the car that is in front of them. There should be one car length for every 10 miles per hour of speed. Someone going 20 MPH would need two car lengths, and someone going 55 MPH would need 5.5 car lengths. A faster moving car needs more distance because more speed equals more momentum, causing the car to take longer to stop.

Measuring car lengths is confusing, especially with the need to adjust for different speeds. Now, most drivers are taught to consider the number of seconds between the time the vehicle in front of theirs passes a fixed object and the time when their own vehicle passes the same object. You should try to allow for at least three to four seconds from the time the car in front of yours drives past something stationary and the time that your vehicle passes it. When the weather is bad, leaving a little bit longer following distance is also a good idea to account for reduced visibility or poor road conditions.

Contact our Columbus, OH accident lawyers today. Call 1-800-930-SCOTT or visit for a free case consultation. Serving Franklin County, Delaware County, Licking County, Fairfield County, Pickaway County, Madison County and Union County. 

Categories: Car Accident

Scott Smith is a lawyer based out of Columbus, Ohio. He works hard to protect the rights of personal injury victims. He has three decades of experience in Central Ohio in cases ranging from car and truck accidents to premises liability.

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