Many serious accidents on our roads could be very simply avoided if motorists maintained a safe braking distance. You can use a stationary object on the side of the road to count how far behind the vehicle in front you are.
To avoid a rear-end collision, allow one car length for every 15km/h of speed. A car travelling at 60km/h covers 16.7 metres a second.
This means that at 100 km/h the minimum distance needed to stop is 80 metres. If you're too close, there's only a 55 metre space in which to stop.
In addition, you should take into account the environmental factors, such as road surface and weather. On poor or dirt roads or in wet, slippery conditions you should take extra care and allow an even greater distance between your car and the one in front.
For safety, allow a three-second gap between you and the car in front. To work out the three-second gap, choose a fixed item such as a tree or lamp post and make sure you pass it about three seconds after the car in front doe
Remember that if you are towing a trailer, boat or caravan, your stopping distance will also be greatly reduced. Your tyres, brakes and critical suspension components will also impact how quickly you come to a stop.