Traffic Tip: Be sure to leave proper following distance

By David Brogger
Dec. 23, 2012 at 6:23 a.m.

This week's traffic tip is in regards to the Texas Transportation Code 545.062, Following Distance.

Sec. 545.062. Following distance. (a) An operator shall, if following another vehicle, maintain an assured clear distance between the two vehicles so that, considering the speed of the vehicles, traffic and the conditions of the highway, the operator can safely stop without colliding with the preceding vehicle or veering into another vehicle, object or person on or near the highway.

Why this specific code and how does it apply to driving in Victoria?

I respond to numerous motor vehicle crashes daily. Fortunately, the majority of these crashes do not involve injury to persons as they are minor "fender benders."

An overwhelming majority of these "fender benders" are caused by one vehicle rear ending another vehicle at or near an intersection. The causing factor is typically failure to control speed for the vehicle in the rear. With sufficient evidence, a citation can be issued to the driver of the vehicle causing the crash. These crashes can easily be avoided if people would adhere to the aforementioned "Following Distance" section of the Texas Transportation Code.

I remember being taught the "two second rule" which means to leave at least two seconds between you and the car in front of you. You do this by taking note of the car in front of you passing a stationary object like a utility pole, then count "one thousand one, one-thousand two," by the time your car passes the same object. This rule only applies when you, your vehicle, visibility and road conditions, etc. are optimum, which is not always the case. Go ahead and leave yourself a little more than two seconds and this could cut down on the rear-end "fender benders."

The Victoria Police Department Traffic Safety Unit invites citizens to inform us of any traffic issues that you observe. The easiest way to do this is go to our website. Then, go to the VPD Customer Service Request tab in the center of the page and follow the directions.

For more information, contact the Victoria Police Traffic Unit 361-485-3700.

If you have a traffic law question, contact Senior Police Officer David Brogger, Victoria Police Department Traffic Safety Unit, 361-485-3700.



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