how many car lengths should you be behind another vehicle?
the length of the car
it depends on what kind of roadway, size and type of traffic. for highways, two to four lengths behind is best. anything less than one length increases your chances for rear-ending or getting into an accident. slow slow! accidents happen much quicker than you think so be sure to stop at stop signs and red lights as well as give yourself plenty of time to reach your destination without speed limits. keep in mind that big vehicles like trucks may need more room because they take longer distances to fully stop when compared to smaller cars or motorcycles for example. on city streets with lots of pedestrians it is always safer (and recommended) to stay further away from the vehicle in front of you, but
how many car lengths is safe following distance?
it is widely accepted that 3 car lengths is enough to be safe.
there are many sources that cite 3 car lengths as the acceptable amount of distance to keep behind cars at 60mph (96km/h), which should translate into about 4-5sec. there are some instances when this would leave a driver with not enough time, such as in traffic while we're stopped and need to make a right turn, and also if we're headed around curves on winding roads. it's worth noting these exceptions and using your best judgment when appropriate.