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Avoiding Auto Accidents and Auto Accident Injuries Explained by our Chiropractor
in Orlando & Longwood, FL
- Dr. Ed Tobenas
FOLLOWING TOO CLOSELY
The concept of one car length of space between two vehicles for every ten miles per hour has been rendered obsolete by NHTSA (National Highway Traffic Safety Administration) research. The primary reason for this is that people have difficulty judging what one car length is consistently. Furthermore, at fifty-five miles per hour, a vehicle travels 80.63 feet in one second. If a driver has accurately judged fifty-five feet of distance between his vehicle and the vehicle ahead and has to stop, the car will travel 60.47 feet before the driver can even begin to apply the brakes during the average reaction time of three-quarters of a second, all but assuring a collision. If you maintain a minimum (for clear, dry weather) of a two-second interval between you and the car ahead, at fifty-five mph you will have a 161.3 foot buffer ahead within which to react and stop.
When you are following another vehicle in your lane, you should have at least a two-second cushion between your vehicle and the one ahead. Pick out a stationary object ahead of the car in front of you, such as, a white line across the road, the shadow of an overpass, or a parked car on the shoulder. Start counting when the lead vehicle passes that spot: one-thousand one, one-thousand two. If you have passed the spot you selected before you complete your two-second count, you are too close. Take your foot off the gas and slow down until you are at a safe distance, or change lanes if it is safe.
There are times when two seconds' following distance is not enough. The two-second rule is a minimum. Additional seconds need to be added for darkness, bad weather, large vehicles, vehicles towing other vehicles, vehicles following others too closely, or any other less-than-ideal situations. Two seconds is the short- or close-range environment, which you should scan for immediate hazards. Drivers should also look at least ten seconds ahead of their vehicles to be aware of medium-distance potential hazards. Always try to keep a safe area around you. Keep from getting boxed in and not having a way out if someone presents a hazard. The law does not allow for any good reason for hitting another vehicle in the rear. F.S. 316.0895 (1) states: "The driver of a motor vehicle shall not follow another vehicle more closely than is reasonable and prudent, having the regard for the speed of such vehicles and the traffic upon, and the conditions of, the highway."
Was the accident your fault? Did someone hit you? Either way, if you are suffering with pain or injuries, we will help you receive the care that you deserve.
If you have been involved in an accident please do not hesitate to contact us immediately. We are always ready to help the injured.