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What’s the ‘3 second rule’, & why every car driver/bike rider must follow it: Video explains

3 Second Rule Featured

The expanding number of road users on the limited road space in India causes long hours of congestion. The growing number of vehicles ensures that the vehicles remain bumper to bumper on the city roads. While there is no escape from bumper to bumper traffic in the slow-moving traffic, especially in India where another vehicle will just take up the space left by you on the road, it is extremely important to maintain the distance from the other cars on the roads when the vehicles speed up. Here is a video that explains why it is important to maintain the three-second rule, which will help the car drivers to avoid any rear-ending of a vehicle!

The video explains how a heavier vehicle stops slower than the regular vehicles on the roads. The heavier vehicles require extra distance to slow down and stop when compared to the regular vehicles. The 3-second rule is the thumb rule that every car and motorcycle rider should follow on the roads. How to follow the 3-second rule? Well, one needs to take a fixed object like a lamppost, tree or signboards on the roads and count the seconds after the vehicle in front of your crosses it. When your vehicle crosses the same object, it should be 3 seconds.

Following this rule ensures that your vehicle remains at a safe distance from the vehicle ahead and in case of an emergency braking, your vehicle gets enough road to stop in time. Heavier vehicles like SUVs need to follow the 5-second distance rule to remain in a safe distance. As SUVs take longer time to slow down because of the heavy momentum, a longer distance is required.

The braking distance is affected a lot of factors including the condition of the tyre and the condition of the roads. In wet conditions, due to lower traction, the vehicles take longer to slow down, which increases the overall stopping distance. This is why vehicles should slow down in the wet conditions and at high speed, which is above 80 km/h, the vehicles need to maintain a 5-second distance from the vehicle ahead.

Emergency braking on the highways can be tricky. One also needs to check in the rearview mirrors to ensure that there is no heavy vehicle like a truck or a bus is following your vehicle before you apply the brakes with full force. As mentioned above, if a heavy vehicle cannot stop in time, they may just run into your vehicle, which can cause massive accidents. Always keep an eye on the rearview mirrors to know the position of the other vehicles on the highway. It becomes quite helpful when one needs to do emergency braking or emergency manoeuvres on the roads. However, the three-second and five-second rules are something that everyone should practice, especially on the highways to stay in the safe braking zone and avoid accidents.