Space Cushion

Posted on by Defensive Driving | in southernbelledriver

To be a safe driver you must manage the road space around your car. Good drivers keep a safe following distance so they can see well. The more space you allow between your car and the car ahead, the more time you will have to see a hazard down the road and the ability to avoid it. A good space cushion will allow for easier steering and give you a bigger picture of your intended path of travel. Driving in the center of the lane also improves your view of the roadway.

Most rear-end collisions are caused by following too closely. To avoid this, maintain a safe space cushion around your vehicle and use the “two-second rule” described earlier. Make sure that the vehicle in front of you is at least two seconds ahead of you. At faster speeds the distance should be greater. The best way to measure a space cushion is to allow a vehicle ahead of you to pass a fixed object (sign pole or tree) and start counting — one thousand one, one thousand two, etc. If you pass the fixed object before you finish counting to the appropriate number, you are following too closely and need to slow down to allow more space.

When you follow too closely and another driver “cuts” in front of you, the normal reaction is to slam on your brakes and swerve out of the way. Swerving out of the way most often results in cutting off someone else or possibly driving off the roadway. It might also cause a collision.

For more helpful driver safety tips, point reduction or discounts for auto insurance take our online driving safety course at www.defensivedriving.com.

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