Defensive driving is more than a class that is taken to get out of a ticket. Defensive driving is being proactive in recognizing and avoiding problems before they occur. There are many defensive driving techniques that one can use.
When it comes to determining the safest distance for following another vehicle, the two-second rule can be helpful. Like all rules, it is important to know what it means and how to use it.
How to not follow too closely
This rule works at all speeds to avoid following too closely. Here is how it works:
- Step 1: Pick a fixed point in the distance, ahead of the vehicle you are following.
- Step 2: At the moment that the vehicle ahead passes the fixed object, start counting seconds.
- Step 3: When you reach the same object, stop counting.
- Step 4: If the amount of time needed for the vehicle you are following and your vehicle to pass the same object is less than two seconds, you are following too closely.
There should be at least a two-second delay to ensure that safe defensive driving techniques are being utilized.
The 2-second rule in bad weather
The two-second rule can and should be modified when driving in bad weather conditions or other hazardous road conditions. A recommendation by the State of Florida is to double the two-second rule to allow for more space and consequent breaking time.
If all safe driving practices were employed and a traffic violation was still incurred, it can be helpful to have professional guidance to ensure that your rights are protected.