3-second Rule- The Safe Following Distance

The growing number of vehicles on the roads in big cities ensures that the cars remain bumper to bumper on the busy roads. While there is no escape from bumper-to-bumper situation in the slow-moving traffic, it is extremely important to maintain the distance from the other cars on the roads when the vehicles speed up. The video below explains why it is important to maintain the 3-second rule, which will help car drivers to avoid accidents.


The 3-second rule should be followed by every car and motorcycle rider on the roads. How to follow the 3-second rule? Well, one needs to take a fixed object like a lamppost, tree or signboards on the roads and count the seconds after the vehicle in front of your crosses it. When your vehicle crosses the same object, it should be 3 seconds. Following this rule ensures that your vehicle remains at a safe distance from the vehicle ahead and in case of an emergency braking, your vehicle gets enough road to stop in time.

Related: Dire Need for Stringent License Issuance System

As explained in the video, heavier vehicles require extra distance to slow down and stop when compared to the regular vehicles. Also SUVs drivers need to follow the 5-second distance rule to maintain a safe distance. Since SUVs take longer time to slow down because of the heavy momentum, a longer distance is therefore required.

It should be noted that the braking distance is affected by a lot of factors including speed, the condition of the tires and the condition of the roads. In wet conditions due to lower traction, the vehicles may take longer to slow down, which increases the overall stopping distance. This is why vehicles should slow down in the wet conditions and at high speed, which is above 80 km/h, the vehicles need to maintain a 5-second distance from the vehicle ahead.

Related: What is Black Ice and Why is it Dangerous?

The 3-second rule for regular vehicles and 5-second rule for bigger vehicles is something that everyone should practice, in order to stay in the safe braking zone and avoid accidents.

Contributed by Bilal Suheib

Notify of
Inline Feedbacks
View all comments