Driving & Driving Test Tips/space between cars


I don't know how old you are, but when I took driver's ed in high school, they always taught to leave one car length in front of you for every 10mph. So when I drive, if I'm going 60 or 70mph, I'll try to leave 6-7 car lengths in front of me, the obvious reason being to avoid rear ending the guy ahead and also. I don't know when it changed, but for many years now, I'll see people on the highway who leave maybe one two car lengths from the car in front, and they're going at least 60-80mph. Not exactly tailgating, but in a way. I think it's dangerous, but that seems to be the norm now. They especially do it when they want the car in front of them to go faster, and to me that's a form of bullying. But don't they teach anything about leaving car space between you the other cars? Or has it not changed as much as it seems to me?  Thanks

You are correct but these days the DMV manuals say leave approximately 2 seconds between you and the car in front of you.  Tailgating is a big problem but it is best to let the other guy do it and maintain your interval.  If you are being tailgated, tap your brakes to let the person know you think they are too close.  If they don't back off slow down and move out of their way and let them pass.  If you can.

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Mark Winter


Traffic collision reconstructionist with 19 years of traffic collision investigation experience as an LAPD officer. I can answer questions about traffic collisions with vehicles, motorcycles, pedistrians, bicycles, and commercial vehicles. Especially cases of low speed collisions and injury potential. I can answer questions about the vehicle code (specific for Ca and in general for other states) but I am not a driving instructor nor a vehicle mechanic. You need to talk to someone else about these issues.


19 years traffic collision investigations. 17 years as traffic collision reconstructionist for the city of Los Angeles and outside consultation. Court qualified in criminal and civil cases. ACTAR #519.

Accredidation Commission for Traffic Accident Reconstructionists Southwest Association of Technical Accident Investigators
Society Of Accident Reconstructionists
Society of Automotive Engineers
California Association of Accident Reconstruction Specialists

B.S. in Psychology Western Illinois University (math amjor-physics minor first two years), Now attending Chaffey college taking Calculus 3 and Chemistry working for Engineering degree

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