The City of Edmonton wants you to know that "in 2015, nearly 40 per cent of all motor-vehicle collisions in Edmonton were a result of drivers following too closely behind the vehicle in front of them. More than 9,700 collisions could have been avoided simply by leaving more space between vehicles.
“People often don’t realize the risks they are taking and the danger they create for others when they tailgate,” said Senior Research Coordinator Laura Thue, with the City of Edmonton’s Office of Traffic Safety. “It's all about leaving yourself enough room to stop if the vehicle in front of you stops suddenly.” A good rule of thumb for dry pavement is to leave a three-second space between your vehicle and the one you are following.
Collisions from following too close can occur at intersections or when drivers are merging, watching for openings in traffic in the lane they want to turn into. Drivers assume that vehicles ahead of them will move, so they start to go, not realizing that the vehicle ahead of them has stopped.
The Office of Traffic Safety reminds you that the higher the speed, the longer it takes to stop. Be aware of your reaction time, that is the time it takes to recognize danger and apply the brakes. At 50 km/h on dry pavement, a vehicle travels almost 13 metres before the driver reacts and applies the brakes. It then travels an additional 14 metres before stopping. Distracted driving and slippery conditions also affect stopping distances.
“This year, reduce your odds of a rear-end collision. A simple change in how you drive is a change towards zero fatalities and major injuries,” says Thue."
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