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There has been much confusion surrounding the issue of what is considered a safe following distance. Without a standardized definition, many drivers are not leaving enough space between themselves and the drivers in front of them. A recent study confirms that such a standardized definition should be created to prevent tailgating which often leads to crashes.
The study was funded by Australia’s Motor Accident Insurance Commission (MAIC), the Queensland Department of Transport and Main Roads and the Queensland Police Service. The results of the study were presented at the 2017 Australian Road Safety Conference. Experts from around the world with the common goal of reducing driving injuries and deaths gathered at the Conference to share their research, programs and developments.
The study revealed that 50 percent of drivers tailgate despite believing that they are following at a safe distance. Fifty-five percent of drivers in some locations left less than a two second gap and 44 percent of drivers in other locations left less than a one second gap between themselves and the vehicles in front of them.
A representative stated that the study conclusively linked tailgating with rear-end crashes for the first time. State road crash data was used to identify rear-end crash blackspots and on-road monitoring was used to determine driving conditions such as speed and tailgating. Rear-end collisions account for approximately 30 percent of crashes in the United States, making them the most common type of car accident, according to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA).
Researchers found that drivers reported keeping the same distance regardless of the type of road they were driving on or the conditions of traffic at the time they were driving. Sixty percent of drivers used units of distance rather than the recommended unit of time (seconds) to assess whether they were following at a safe distance.
Researchers hope that the study will prompt the creation of a standardized definition of a safe following distance, thereby reducing the number of rear-end crashes, reducing the number of injuries and deaths.
Thousands of people are injured or killed on New Jersey’s roadways each year. If you were injured in a car accident, contact a South Jersey car accident lawyer at Folkman Law Offices, P.C. We are dedicated to pursuing compensation for those who are suffering from injuries or who lost a loved one in a car accident. Our firm works with experts in various fields to determine the cause of and circumstances surrounding the accident. The South Jersey personal injury attorneys at Folkman Law will negotiate with the insurance company on your behalf and take your case to trial if necessary. From our offices in Cherry Hill, New Jersey, Philadelphia, and King of Prussia, Pennsylvania, we represent victims throughout South Jersey and the Philadelphia area. Contact us online or call us at 856-354-9444 to schedule your free case review.