Road Safety Banner Road Safety
Default text size Large text size Extra large text size High contrast text

Home : Roads and Transportation : Road Safety : Campaigns : Only Fools break the two second rule

It’s not just the April Fools who break the Two-Second Rule.

Kildare County Council’s Road Safety Officer is encouraging drivers to use the Two Second Rule while driving. The rule helps drivers to maintain a safe space between moving vehicles in the event of an emergency stop.

‘It can be difficult for drivers to estimate distance while driving, whereas it is easier to estimate it using time. To judge this safe distance in time, we use the two-second rule. This allows a driver to create a safe gap between their vehicle and the one in front in order to provide a safe, adequate space in the event of an emergency or sudden stop’.

It's not just the April fools who break the two-second rule. Many drivers are driving too close to the vehicle in front, creating the risk of a collision. The two-second rule works no matter what speed you are travelling. In order for drivers to stop safely and avoid collisions they first need to recognise a hazard and then decide how to react, before braking to avoid the hazard. And this all happens in a split second.

The following are steps for the two-second rule. While driving on a dry road, choose a point like a lamp post, utility pole or a road sign. When the vehicle in front passes that point, say "Only a fool breaks the two-second rule". As you finish saying this, check your position in relation to your chosen point. If you have already passed the point at this stage, you are driving too close to the vehicle in front so you need to pull back. In wet weather, you need to double the distance from the car in front: so say twice "Only a fool breaks the two-second rule". Remembering the rule and using it as a habit can save lives.