Safe and Responsible Driving

Keep a Safe Distance

Maintain a safe distance from other vehicles. Drive at the same speed as traffic around you without going over the speed limit. Whenever you follow another vehicle, you need enough space to stop safely if the other vehicle brakes suddenly. A safe following distance is at least two seconds behind the vehicle in front. This is the minimum reaction time you need to stop safely.

To calculate a two-second space, follow these steps:
  • Mark a point on the road ahead, such as a road sign or telephone pole.
  • When the rear of the vehicle ahead passes the marker, count "one thousand and one, one thousand and two".
  • When the front of your vehicle reaches the marker, stop counting. If you reach the marker before you count "one thousand and two," you are close and need to maintain more distance.

Depending upon the weather and traffic conditions, try to maintain more than two-second space. If a light vehicle is ahead of you it will take lesser time to stop while if a heavy vehicle is ahead of you it would be blocking your view of the road ahead. The factors that affect the stopping distance are load, condition of the road surface, tyres, brakes, driver skill and type of vehicle. The vehicle travelling at a higher speed will take longer distance to stop. Drivers have to understand that however good a driver they think they are and however good their car is, a vehicle at a higher speed will take much longer distance to stop.


Anticipation is important; you should see stops ahead, check the mirrors and begin braking early, stopping smoothly. Sit properly so that braking is easy. Use your right foot for both brake and accelerator pedals so you won’t step on both pedals at the same time. Press the brake pedal evenly.
Do not press the clutch or release the gears from a distance. You will have to brake harder in that case and will find if more difficult to control the vehicle. Come to a complete stop at all stop signs and red traffic signals. Wait until the way is clear before entering the intersection.

Safe Stopping Distance
Speed Thinking distance Braking Distance Total Stopping Distance
40 kmph 8 meters 14 meters 22 meters
60 kmph 12 meters 30 meters 42 meters
90 kmph 16 meters 72 meters 88 meters