Skip to Content

What is the 3 Second Rule in Driving?

view from the driver in a vehicle, two hands on a steering wheel and a car in the front distance

The Easiest Defensive Driving Tip

One of the earliest tips you may have received when learning to drive is to mind the “three-second rule” whenever possible. This technique relies solely on the driver controlling their speed to allow for adequate stopping room for a variety of situations.

How to Use the 3 Second Rule

Using the three-second rule is easy and just requires you to pick a stationary point on the road — usually a sign or building. When the car in front of you hits this spot, you want to make sure you are driving slow enough so that you get to that point three seconds later. Passing it before then may be an indication that you are driving too fast.

How It Can Vary

As with most defensive driving techniques, this can vary depending on the road conditions at the time. If you are in traffic, for example, you may already be driving at a much slower speed than normal and will not need to allow for such a big gap. On the other hand, when it’s raining or foggy out, you may want to add up to six seconds to allow yourself extra room in case of slickness.

Remember, it is always better to leave too much room in between you and other cars than too little. Since we cannot always predict what another driver will do, allowing for this extra space can help ease some roadway stress and help you have one less thing to worry about.

Car Accident? We Can Help.

No matter how mindful you are of defensive driving, unfortunately not every car on the road will always be as careful. If you sustain an injury after an accident caused by another driver, call (662) 269-6188 to schedule a consultation with someone at Vollor Law Firm, P.A..