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Misha
Site Owner



Joined: Aug 02, 2006
Posts: 705
Location: McLean, VA, USA

PostPosted: Mon Jan 09, 2012 10:38 am Reply with quote Back to top

As many things in driving, this is a tradeoff between your safety (real or perceived) and inconvenience. In this case the inconvenience is to other people, and your choice seems to be to inconvenience as many people as you can as much as you can, for your perceived safety. Smile

Rearending at a traffic light is certainly a possible outcome, however it is extremely rare and even when happens usually happens on very low speed. For that almost theoretical possibility of a serious harm to you or your car you inconvenience a lot of people day in and day out. Don't get surprised when you make at least some of them mad at you, therefore significantly increasing your chances of getting into an accident. Like karma, it sort of turns around and bites you in the rear end - whatever you are trying to avoid to start with, you increase the chances of it happening. Wink

The only valid reason to leave some space IMO is to leave yourself room for exit in case the front car get stuck for any reason. But for this you don't need more than 4-5 feet, which is a far cry from a car length or two you are advocating.

Besides, your method of measuring the distance is highly inaccurate and depends on the vehicle design and sitting posture quite a lot.
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Astraist
Master Driver



Joined: Mar 27, 2010
Posts: 209

PostPosted: Mon Jan 09, 2012 12:54 pm Reply with quote Back to top

I think that our disagreement is smaller than you think, Misha.Smile

My recommendation to stop two or even three car lengths early is when you are stopping at the very end of the queue (with no other cars behind you) waiting for the red light or for whatever other reason. Once cars come up behind you, you move into this space, so there is no inconvenience or lost of time to it. It's just a way of leaving yourself a way out of a possible rear-end collision. I will do a write-up on this with pictures for an illustration.

When you are stopped inside the queue, my recommendation is to keep a space where you can see a bit tarmac between yourself and the car in front. This is partially subjective and depends on the car and driving position (you got that very right) and on personal preferences.


Rear-end collisions are very common, and they can cause financial damage, as well as a variety of back and neck injuries, some of which can lead to damage that is very long-term. On some conditions, when the speed of impact is somewhere above 40mph or so, the collisions turn deadly, since cars were never meant to withstand such a blow from the rear. In that case, you could see cars with the rear bent up into the passenger's compartment, seats torn off from their places and other horrible sights.

A good driver always plans at least six steps forward, and at least two steps to the back.
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Mickedog
New member



Joined: Mar 01, 2012
Posts: 1

PostPosted: Thu Mar 01, 2012 9:59 pm Reply with quote Back to top

Astraist wrote:
It is important, I would even go as far as to say very important, to maintain a considerable gap at stop lights, and any other stop on the road. The gap depends on the situation or, to put it more percisely, on where you are in the queue.

1.Stopping at the END of the traffic queue
Imagine cruising down the road at 40mph and reaching a queue of stopped vehicles at the traffic lights. You slow down and stop. But afterwards, another drivers pulls out, but because he didn't get nearly as much sleep as he should the night before, he hits your behind.

Could this collision be avoided? To answer this question we need to understand what made this collision possible, which is your presence at the very end of the queue. So, don't hold at the end of the queue in front, stop in front of your own queue!

By slowing down very early and very gently, cars behind you catch up with you while you are still moving. This way, you sort of "gather" them up to form a queue behind you and than reach a dead stop when protected from behind. This automatically protects you from being shounted from behind, and you obviously don't need to keep as much space in front at the stop.



I like the way you explained this, and I often do this with out realizing it. I see a red light ahead, and just begin to slow down. Perhaps I annoy the person behind me who is in a hurry; so if they are tailgating I'll pay extra attention to the timing of the light so as not to inconvenience others.

Also, I too agree with enough room to maneuver your car out with out reversing; this is easily judged by practice with your turning radius.

And an extra precaution I like to add is your blinker. Even if your a ways from your turn but your stopped waiting for traffic. That flashing light may alert the driver coming up behind you. Or, If your especially attentive to your rear-view mirror; you can flash your break lights if you think the traffic behind you is approaching too fast.
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myownworld
Site Admin
Site Admin



Joined: Jan 06, 2010
Posts: 485

PostPosted: Thu Mar 01, 2012 10:40 pm Reply with quote Back to top

Welcome to Fun And Safe Driving Mickedog. Thank you for joining the forums and great to have you with us Smile
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Astraist
Master Driver



Joined: Mar 27, 2010
Posts: 209

PostPosted: Fri Mar 02, 2012 5:41 am Reply with quote Back to top

Mickedog wrote:

I see a red light ahead, and just begin to slow down. Perhaps I annoy the person behind me who is in a hurry; so if they are tailgating I'll pay extra attention to the timing of the light so as not to inconvenience others.

And an extra precaution I like to add is your blinker. Even if your a ways from your turn but your stopped waiting for traffic. That flashing light may alert the driver coming up behind you. Or, If your especially attentive to your rear-view mirror; you can flash your break lights if you think the traffic behind you is approaching too fast.


Welcome to the forums!

You make some interesting remarks. Slowing down early and gently is the best way to manage tailgater. Other that giving them more time to react, it often encourages them to pass you. This can turn into a disadvantage in bikes, where starting to slow down all too soon might cause one driver to pass quickly and the driver approaching them from behind will suddenly find himself facing a slowing bike.

Signaling and braking allows to increase visibility. When you stop at the end of a deceleration lane for a right or left turn, applying the blinker untill a car comes up behind you can increase visibility and allow the other driver's to know which lane leads to where when the traffic queue covers the traffic arrows. After you get "covered" I do not see a point in signaling afterwards, since no other road user could benefit from it.

Braking naturally happens when you stop and keep the car in gear (which you must do in order to look out for any hit from behind), you will naturally be on the brakes, illuminating the rear brake lights. If you suspect that the driver behind is not going to stop in time, start rolling forward and if you realize that he is indeed going to ram you, accelerate forward and veer into your escape route.

After using up the space around you, if you are still going to get shounted, hit the brakes and put the head against the head restraint. This should reduce the force of impact.
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sgtrock21
Seasoned Driver



Joined: Jul 15, 2012
Posts: 120

PostPosted: Sat Jul 21, 2012 10:43 pm Reply with quote Back to top

When I was a commercial driver I had to take the Smith defensive driving course. They recommended leaving enough room to pull around the vehicle ahead of you in case they stalled. The "drivers" I hate are the ones who leave one or more car lengths in front of them then keep moving forward one or two feet at a time while waiting for the signal to change. I can only guess that by engaging in this idiocy they indulge themselves in the illusion that they are still moving.
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Misha
Site Owner



Joined: Aug 02, 2006
Posts: 705
Location: McLean, VA, USA

PostPosted: Mon Apr 13, 2015 8:26 am Reply with quote Back to top

sgtrock21 wrote:
When I was a commercial driver I had to take the Smith defensive driving course. They recommended leaving enough room to pull around the vehicle ahead of you in case they stalled. The "drivers" I hate are the ones who leave one or more car lengths in front of them then keep moving forward one or two feet at a time while waiting for the signal to change. I can only guess that by engaging in this idiocy they indulge themselves in the illusion that they are still moving.


Yep, I hear you. It is soooooooo American, just because of the auto tranny. One cannot perform such driving perversion with a manual tranny Very Happy
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