Gulfshore Insurance > Gulfshore Blog > Commercial Risk Management > Use the Four-Second Rule to Avoid Rear-End Collisions

Use the Four-Second Rule to Avoid Rear-End CollisionsYou hear the common excuse from your drivers, “There was nothing I could do… the vehicle in front of me stopped abruptly and I just couldn’t stop in time”. Nothing will increase your auto insurance premiums faster than accidents, I promise! The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration commissioned a study that presented some interesting facts:

  • 29% of all crashes are rear-end collisions (that is the most common).
  • Majority of rear-end collisions happen on dry, strait, flat roads during the day time thus adverse road conditions are not a factor.
  • 81% of those crashes occur when the leading vehicle has already come to a complete stop.


The frustrating thing about rear-end collisions is that these crashes are all preventable.  The culprit, the driver, was following too closely behind the vehicle in front of them. How far is a safe following distance?  Use the “4-second rule” as a minimum following distance.

Did you know:

  • At 55 MPH, it takes a semi 275 feet to stop (in ideal conditions).
  • At 55 MPH, it takes a car 165 feet to stop.
  • At 55 MPH, a vehicle travels 81 ft. per second.  That’s the length of a football field in 3.7 seconds.
  • In rainy or wet conditions, use at least a 5-second rule.


How many of your drivers are actively using the “4-second rule”?  Communicate and remind them regularly and you will reduce the frequency of rear-end collisions. The best way to keep insurance premiums down is preventing claims from ever happening.  Drive carefully.

At Gulfshore Insurance, we specialize in insurance and risk management in the trucking and transportation industry. We work with more than 10,000 clients throughout Florida and we are happy to assist you with training materials, safety programs, and insurance for your business.

Jeffrey Sanders, TRIP is Client Advisor at Gulfshore Insurance. Jeff works with a wide range of business clients to deliver strategic risk analysis, guidance, and insurance. Comments and questions are welcome at