Wilmington Drivers Can Prevent Rear-End Crashes with Safe Following Distances
Drivers in Blue Point, Carolina Place, Forest Cove, Forest Hills and the rest of the Wilmington area are required to leave a safe following distance between their own car and the vehicle in front of them. The purpose of this requirement is to make certain that you have plenty of time to react in case the other car acts suddenly or unexpectedly. If the car in front of you slows, you want to make sure that you have time to also reduce your speed. If the vehicle in front of you comes to a stop -- especially unexpectedly -- you need to ensure that you can also come to a full and complete stop without causing a collision.
An experienced rear-end accident lawyer knows many drivers fail to maintain a safe following distance despite the clear importance of doing so. This helps to explain why so many collisions are rear-end crashes. The driver in the following vehicle is almost always held legally accountable for striking the lead vehicle because the rear driver is the motorist expected to maintain the safe space. When a rear-end accident happens, it is important for motorists involved to understand who is at fault so the motorist who failed to fulfill his obligations can be held accountable for resulting damages.
How Much Distance is a Safe Following Distance?
When a driver fails to maintain a safe following distance and travels too closely behind the lead vehicle, the driver is considered to be tailgating. Tailgating is the fifth leading cause of motor vehicle crashes within the United States. Drivers tailgate for different reasons, including a lack of patience to get where they are going. Another big reason for tailgating, however, is that some drivers are simply unsure of exactly what constitutes a "safe" following distance.
According to Driver's Prep, drivers used to be told to consider the number of car lengths between their own car and the vehicle in front of theirs. Drivers were supposed to measure one car length for each 10 miles an hour of speed. A driver going 50 MPH, for example, would leave five car lengths between his vehicle and the car in the front.
This measurement was too imprecise for most drivers to follow. The amount of distance needed to be calculated differently depending upon how fast the driver was going, and judging car lengths could be difficult. As a result, drivers began being informed of the "two-second" rule.
The two-second rule means that you should choose a fixed object on the road. When the car in front of your own vehicle passes the stationary object, start counting. At least two seconds should pass before your own car goes by the same object. The two-second rule has subsequently been extended by safety experts to either three or four seconds, but the basic premise remains the same: allow enough time to react to what the driver in front of you is doing in order to reduce the chances that a rear-end accident will happen.
Help is available for accidents victims in Willmington, NC. Contact the Law Offices of Richard Flexner at 800-FLEXNER (800-353-9637) or visit http://www.getflexner.com to schedule a free consultation. Serving Blue Point, Carolina Place, Forest Cove, Forest Hills and the rest of the Wilmington area.