19 Following at a safe distance

Following distanceNot following other vehicles at a safe distance is one of the common reasons for accidents, particularly rear end shunts. This is why this particular aspect of driving is individually itemised on the Driving Test Report.

What the examiner is looking for

The examiner is checking that you

  1. Keep a safe distance between you and the vehicle in front in slow moving heavy traffic - a minimum of a cars length for every 10 miles per hour you are travelling (i.e. approximately your thinking distance)
  2. Keep a good distance between you and larger vehicles so that you get a clear view of the road ahead in normal driving conditions
  3. Use the 2 second rule to determine your following distance in normal driving
  4. Leave at least double the distances in point 3 in poor driving conditions
  5. Leave enough room in waiting traffic so that if the vehicle in front breaks down you can still manoeuvre out (make sure you can see tyres and tarmac).

Driving faults recorded
19 Following distance:

  • Drives too close to vehicles ahead.
  • Does not attempt the two-second rule.
  • Drives closer than thinking distance in heavy traffic.
  • Stops too close to vehicles ahead in traffic queues.
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