Maintaining a Safe Following Distance on the Highway: The 3-5 Second Rule

Do you know what a following interval is and how to determine it? If not, you’re in luck cause I’m about to drop some following interval knowledge.

A following interval (or following distance) is the distance between you and the car in front of you. The best way to figure this out is to count the seconds between when the car ahead of you passes something stationary (a road sign, a tree, the guy selling watermelons on the side of the road) and when you pass it. You want to try and hit that following interval sweet spot of 3 – 5 seconds. You’ll need more space the faster you’re driving, so keep that in mind. If you follow any closer than 3 seconds, you’ll be tailgating the person in front of you, like a big jerk.
Not this kind of tailgating

You also want to increase your following interval if the weather is bad. In bad weather (rain, snow, etc.), your tires lose traction with the road, so you need to give yourself more distance to stop. Increase to 5 or 6 seconds if that makes you feel more confident in your stopping abilities. Give the person in front of you plenty of space. Give yourself plenty of space. Space, man.

Your driving skills are outta this world.
Make sure to check out the rest of our safe driving videos for more tips to keep you in control on the road!