What is the four-second rule in driving?

I’ve been driving a long time, but all of a sudden I keep hearing about this four-second rule. What does the four-second rule mean when driving?

Rob Shapiro · Updated on
Reviewed by Shannon Martin, Licensed Insurance Agent.
A lot of drivers don’t know this rule, so thanks for asking!
The four-second rule in driving means you should remain at least four seconds behind the vehicle in front of you. This way, if you have to abruptly stop, there’s a better chance of avoiding a collision.
It’s especially important to apply the four-second rule when driving on or in:
  • Slippery, wet, or icy roads
  • Light or heavy fog
  • Light or heavy rain
  • Low-light or night-driving conditions
Whenever possible, the four-second rule is a good idea though—even on dry, sunny days with light traffic. It’s also never a bad idea to double-check that you have the right
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