Many accidents on the road can be avoided by maintaining a proper distance between your car and the vehicle ahead of you. Some drivers utilize the “3 Second Rule”, where you pick a random landmark ahead of you, wait for the vehicle ahead of you to reach this landmark, and then begin counting “one one thousand, two one thousand, three one thousand.” If you reach the landmark before you finish counting to 3, then you are too close to the vehicle ahead of you. Other drivers attempt to keep at least 1 car length between their car and the one ahead for each 10 miles of speed (i. e . if you are traveling at 60 mph, then you should have the equivalent of six car lengths separating your car and the one ahead of you). Still, other drivers will lower their speed, knowing that they have more time to react the slower they drive.
Whatever method you use, it is important to maintain a safety zone between yourself and the car in front. We drive in busy areas bordered by enticing strip-malls, drive-thrus, fast food restaurants , gas stations, and the ever important coffee shops. It is common to be driving along, when the car ahead of you suddenly slams on the brakes to turn into that new chicken joint.
There is so much stimuli on the road to absorb that it is easy for our attention to wander, even for a moment, to get a good look at that kid dressed up as a hot dog, or to read the myriad bumper stickers , or to stare at the crazy guy driving and doing the crossword at the same time, or to read the movie marquee, or to avoid hitting the people selling newspapers, flowers , water , etc., or to ogle at the hottie in the convertible.
That one moment of distraction can result in an accident.
And as a matter of fact, if a person stops short in front of you on the road, to suddenly turn into that new sporting goods store , you may be legally responsible if you hit them.
Therefore, when you are out there on the road, be aware of the traffic around you and the area you are in. Anticipate that, when driving through a commercial area (i. e . with strip-malls, restaurants , etc.), the cars ahead of you will slow down and stop or turn suddenly.
It may be enticing to stare at that new liquor billboard; however, when weighed against the possibility of an accident, it’s better to wait until you get home, where you can see similar imagery on your t.v., safe and snug in your crash couch.