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If You Are Not On The Talladega Motor Speedway...

If you are not on the Talladega Motor Speedway getting ready to do the "shake & bake" to win millions of dollars, YOUR vehicle does not need to be three inches or less to the bumper of the vehicle in front of you.

#No excuses

Over the past few months, I have had several conversations with folks that have been in rear-end-type accidents. The following are NOT valid excuses:

X "They stopped suddenly in front of me."

X "They did not use a blinker."

X "They brake checked me."

X "They pulled out in front of me and stopped."

My immediate answer was, "What if it was your child or loved one that jumped out in front of your vehicle?" That usually pauses and renders the argument moot.

Under Tennessee Code Annotated section §55-8-136, "all drivers are required to use due care at all times and must stay within a safe speed and keep proper and complete control over the vehicle."

Under the Official Code of Georgia §40-6-49 (2022) "The driver of a motor vehicle shall not follow another vehicle more closely than is reasonable and prudent, having due regard for the speed of such vehicles and the traffic upon and the condition of the highway."

This means that if an accident occurs and you strike the rear, YOU are most likely to be at fault. Reasons why you may not be at fault:

  • The vehicle in front of you was backing down the roadway

  • Multi-vehicle accident

  • Crossing lanes in front of your vehicle

  • Unforeseen event such as a fog bank or explosion

However, these are few and far between. The proper distance for stopped vehicles is that you should be able to see the rear tires touching the roadway in front of you. Vehicles traveling at normal rates of speed you should be at minimum three seconds behind the vehicle in front of you.

The easiest way to do that is to watch the vehicle tire pass an object. You should count, "One Mississippi. Two Mississippi. Three Mississippi." (Alabama, Tennessee, Georgia if you prefer -- just as long as it is three seconds) before your vehicle reaches that object.

Vehicles traveling at maximum rates of speed should be, at minimum, five seconds behind the vehicle in front of you. I know everyone wants to be the intimidator and block people from getting in front of you. While it is sometimes frustrating, think to yourself do you want to pay higher insurance rates by hitting the vehicle in the rear? Or worse, is it worth injuring and/or taking the life of someone just because you are in a hurry? The answer is, "No!"



Written by Chris Cain

Host of Work Comp Chaos

For comments, questions, and topic ideas:

Agent & Adjuster at The Southern Agency Insurance and Bonds

To discuss your insurance or quotes:


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