Content provided courtesy of USAA.
To keep a safe distance from the vehicle in front of you, consider using the "three-second rule." Look for a fixed object on the road — a sign, a tree or an overpass. When the car in front of you passes that object, count "one thousand one, one thousand two, one thousand three." If you reach the object before you finish counting, you're probably too close.
These three seconds should give you time to process what's happening ahead of you and adjust to help avoid a crash. Put even more space between your car and the vehicle in front of you if road conditions are poor or someone is tailgating you. To help prevent being hit from behind, don't brake suddenly. Slow down gradually or merge into another lane.