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Why every driver needs to understand stopping distances

Any time that you drive, it is important to understand the stopping distance required by your own vehicle. But it is also important to have some idea of what the stopping distances look like for the vehicles around you. After all, you’re only as safe as the drivers you share the road with.

Many people never consider stopping distances much at all, so let’s take a look at why it is an important concept and how it can help to keep you safe.

Proper following distances

First and foremost, understanding stopping distances helps to keep the right spacing between vehicles. Ideally, there should be three seconds between you and the car ahead of you, and there should be another three seconds between you and the car behind you. It’s important never to tailgate, and you may want to let other tailgaters pass if they are driving unsafely behind you.

Not all vehicles are the same

The second reason to consider stopping distances is that some vehicles have much longer ones than others. Notably, a semitruck can take as far as 525 feet to come to a stop. If you see a vehicle like this behind you, it is important to understand how quickly that driver can bring their vehicle to a halt. If you see that vehicle approaching you too quickly from behind, you may know that an accident is imminent.

Unfortunately, when other drivers make mistakes, you may not be able to avoid a car accident. As such, you could suffer severe injuries, and you need to know about all of the legal steps you can take to seek financial compensation.


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