Tailgating, or following the car in front of you too closely, is a risky driving practice that often results in a rear-end collision. When driving in the greater-Rockford area, on I-39, Illinois Route 251, or Illinois Route 2, you are responsible for following the vehicle in front of you at a safe distance, so that you can slow down or stop when it does—without causing a crash. But how can you tell if you are following at a safe distance?
Experts suggest following the three-second rule, which works like this:
- Choose a stationary landmark, such as a building, pole, or sign, located in front of the vehicle you are following.
- Count aloud to three slowly—one thousand-and-one, one thousand-and-two, one thousand-and-three—starting when the bumper of the car in front of you passes your landmark.
- Check the front of your car—if it reaches the landmark as you finish counting, you are following at a safe distance.
If the front of your car reaches your landmark before you finish counting, you are following the lead car too closely. Slow down and check yourself again to make sure you are following at a safe distance.
Keep in mind that you should increase your three-second-following distance by one second for each of the following:
- Pulling a trailer
- Driving a heavy truck
- Following a motorcycle
- Rain, sleet, or snow
- Slippery road conditions
- Poor visibility
- Heavy traffic
Following the three-second rule will help keep you and your family safe on the road. If you found this article helpful, share it with your followers on Twitter by clicking the Tweet button on the left-hand side of this page.