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Driving safely in traffic - the two second rule


Your vehicle is your responsibility. You must be in control at all times.

You must keep your vehicle to a speed that allows you to stop it:

In traffic, the distance between your vehicle and the one in front of you is known as the safe headway. Keep a safe headway by ensuring you are at least two seconds behind the vehicle in front. This is known as the two-second rule. You can use the following steps to check if you are obeying the rule:


Image shows two cars, with a big yellow arrow dividing the two. 2 seconds is written on the yellow arrow Use a fixed point to help measure a two-second gap.



Never drive closer than indicated by the two-second rule. If you drive too close to the vehicle in front (tailgating) and it brakes suddenly, you may not have enough time to react. If you run into the vehicle, you will be liable for any damage caused.


Avoid driving too slowly

In normal road and traffic conditions, safely keep up with the pace of the traffic flow while obeying the speed limit. While you must keep a safe distance away from the vehicle in front, you should not drive so slowly that your vehicle unnecessarily blocks other road users. If you drive too slowly, you risk frustrating other drivers, which could lead to dangerous overtaking. However, remember: you must not drive at a speed at which you cannot stop the vehicle within the distance you can see to be clear ahead.


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