Many researchers have argued that two seconds is simply not enough time to prevent an accident. If the person ahead slams on his brakes, drivers need enough time to:

  • Realize there is danger ahead
  • Begin corrective action
  • Take his foot off of the accelerator pedal and move it to the brake
  • Apply the brake
  • Wait for the brakes to engage
  • Steer the vehicle to a safe stop

While it may seem like all of these actions can happen in the blink of an eye, the truth is that it can take up to a full five seconds for a driver to initiate the actions that avoid a crash—and that is under ideal circumstances. A driver who is distracted, tired, or driving during inclement weather or in a vehicle with worn brakes or tires should leave even more of a following distance.


Christopher L. Russo
Helping Rhode Island personal injury victims for nearly three decades to get the compensation they deserve.