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3-Second Rule for Safe Driving - Fort Myers Accident Attorney

September 14, 2020 | Category: Automobile Accidents | Share

About 1.7 million rear-end collisions take place in the United States each year, according to Fort Myers Accident Attorney Randall Spivey. The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) reports that rear-end collisions are the most frequent type of crashes. They are responsible for approximately 29 percent of all nation-wide car accidents.

3-Second Rule for Safe DrivingRear-end collisions occur when drivers do not have enough time to perceive and react safely to slowing or stopped traffic. Increasing the following distance can help give a driver the time to react when someone brakes in front of him or her.

Fort Myers accident attorney suggests everyone follow the NHTSA 3-second rule for a safe driving distance. The NHTSA reports that by increasing the distance between vehicles, a driver can have the time needed to recognize a hazard and respond safely.

  • Determining the 3-second gap is relatively easy. When following a vehicle, pick an overhead road sign, a tree, or other roadside marker. Note when the vehicle ahead passes that marker, then see how many seconds it takes (count 1-1,000; 2-1,000; 3-1,000) for you to pass the same spot. If it is not at least three seconds, leave more space, and increase your following distance.
  • Think of the following distance in terms of time, not space. Highway engineers use time, rather than distance, to represent how long it takes a driver to perceive and react to hazards. The National Safety Council also uses this standard (plus a little extra for safety) when recommending the 3-second rule for following distance.

When visibility is diminished, the 3-second rule may not apply as it is recommended for ideal road and weather conditions. Drivers need to slow down and increase the following distance more. Also, the following distance needs to be increased if drivers are driving larger vehicles or towing trailers.

Distractions play a role in rear-end collisions. Texting, reaching for drinks, or glancing at a navigation device are forms of distraction that may cause rear-end collisions. Even with the 3-second rule, drivers may not have time to react to hazardous situations if they are distracted.

When rear-end accidents occur, victims most commonly suffer neck injuries where the soft tissue is damaged because of the violent and sudden movement of the neck and head.

“If you or a loved one is injured in a rear-end accident because of the negligence of another, please contact Spivey Law Firm, Personal Injury Attorneys, P.A. after seeking medical attention. We represent people involved in numerous types of personal injury and wrongful death accidents throughout the state of Florida. All of our clients have unique personal injury cases. Our firm provides personal contact and communication along with aggressive representation,” says Fort Myers Accident Attorney  Randall Spivey.


Fort Myers Accident Attorney Randall L. Spivey is a Board Certified Trial Attorney – the highest recognition for competence bestowed by the Florida Bar and a distinction earned by just one percent (1%) of Florida attorneys.  He has handled over 2,000 personal injury and wrongful death cases throughout Florida.  For a free and confidential consultation to discuss your legal rights, contact  Spivey Law Firm, Personal Injury Attorneys, P.A., in Lee County at 239.337.7483 or toll-free at 1.888.477.4839,or by email to  Visit for more information.  You can contact Spivey Law Firm, Personal Injury Attorneys, P.A. in Charlotte County at 941.764.7748 and in Collier County at 239.793.7748.








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