Keeping a safe driving distance

HOW much distance should be kept between the car in front? Drivers need to be prepared for the car in front of them to stop, slow down or perform any manoeuvre. The condition of the road and the speed play a factor.

Under normal driving conditions, a common method is to use the three-second rule to   determine an adequate following distance.

If the road is wet, icy, with bends or visibility is reduced, then the following distance needs to be increased allowing you and the car in front more room to stop.

At a speed of 30 mph a vehicle needs 25     metres to stop safely. And at 68 mph, that distance increases to 103 metres or the equivalent of a football pitch.

Safe driving distance even in traffic

Even in built up traffic it’s good driving to leave a space between you and the vehicle in front. If the car in front breaks down, you need enough space to mirror, signal and manoeuvre around it safely. If you get bumped from behind, leaving a gap may save your vehicle from colliding with the one in front.

Keeping right unless overtaking

Vehicles should keep right on roads with two lanes or more, unless overtaking. In built up areas, with two or more lanes, drivers should take the lane which best serves their destination.

This lane should not be changed unless overtaking, stopping, unloading or turning off. In all     instances, drivers should not block or hinder the normal flow of traffic from behind.


Overtaking is a potentially hazardous man-oeuvre and must never be done on a bend, in limited visibility, on pedestrian crossings, on approaches to crossroads or intersections, or in tunnels. When overtaking a cyclist, drivers must leave a minimum gap of 1.5 metres between their vehicle and the cyclist, at all times. Overtaking on the right hand side is prohibited in Spain.

Negotiating roundabouts

On approaching a roundabout, take notice of all the information available such as traffic signs, traffic lights and lane markings, which can direct you to the correct lane depending on your exit. As a general rule, it is usually safest to keep to the right lane until you need to exit the roundabout. Signal before the exit you intend to take and use your mirrors to ensure there is no one behind who will be       inconvenienced by your turning off.

We hope the information provided in this article is of interest.
If you would like to contact Línea Directa please call 902 123 309.
More information on Línea Directa online at

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