Saturday, September 1, 2007

2 Seconds Could Save Your Life

I've lived in seven different countries or so to date, and it's no real secret that the UK Police have the best driving course of any police department. Whereas most departments I'm aware of do a day on the skid pan, the basic course in the UK is two weeks (3 weeks for motorcycles) and an additional two weeks for the advanced high speed pursuit guys.

One of the things that is drummed into the officers, both basic and advanced is the necessity to adhere to the two second rule. What is it? Simple. When you're behind another vehicle allow a "two second" gap between you and them.

What that means is when you observe a car in front of you pass an object -- streetlamp, fence post, road sign, road marking etc -- you should be able to count to two before you pass the same object. This will buy you enough time should they suddenly jam on brakes for something or someone on the road.

Unfortunately for me, I live in the worst city in the world (of all those I've travelled through) for tailgaters. My own theory is it's connected to the locals growing up watching NASCAR events and emulating their heroes by sitting on one's bumper. What the idiots who do it don't realize is that, unlike their heroes on the NASCAR track, there is a very real risk that person may need to stop suddenly and then you're going to eat their rear end.

(Want proof of the stupidity of the locals who tailgate? Thirty five of them rear ended one another at Lake Norman a few years ago. A girl on a jet ski on the lake flashed a driver by pulling her top off. He slowed to look and thirty five vehicles all hit one another - which I personally thought was great)

So, next time you're on the road, check you're adhering to the two second rule as it will save you a load of grief one day.

PS: The beauty of the technique is that it doesn't matter if you're on the autobahn doing 175mph or 15mph through a parking lot, it works either way.


Dean Webster said...

Got any pics of the girl on the jet ski??? LOL

Thanks for sharing. Great blog and great to see you back at it, Uncle Nick.


Marc said...

Here in philadelphia and most of the northeast, we're the cutting-off capital of the world. You leave two seconds infront of you, 6 cars fill the gap.

Good advice is sometimes hard to follow.

Good to see you back