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Ask The Experts

Stopped At Traffic Lights!

Q. While conducting a “ride-along” this past month, one of my team members continuously pulled up on vehicles stopped at traffic lights. This person is a great guy, talks about how good of a driver he is (and he is a good driver per his record), however he scared me with his late braking and constant tailgating at traffic lights.

Following the ride-along, I talked to the driver about the stopping distance at traffic lights and late braking. I am not real sure he understands the concepts of space management when driving, could you provide some points that may help get the message across when stopping at lights.

Mike J – District Manager

A. We recommend that any time you must stop your vehicle behind another, always allow yourself an “out” just in case the vehicle ahead of you has an issue moving forward. Position your vehicle so that you can always see the rear tires of the vehicle in front of you and a portion of the pavement.

Stopping well short of the vehicle in front of you will provide the following:

  • A good view of the road (not just the back of the vehicle in front of you)
  • Room to move around the vehicle ahead if it stalls or breaks down
  • If you are hit from behind, the vehicle ahead is less likely to be affected
  • A possible “out” for you if the vehicle from behind is fast approaching and brakes too late

We hope these short points will be well accepted and improve your driver’s space management issue at traffic lights and when stopping for any reason behind other drivers.

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This question was answered by:

Ben Langley is the Safety Editor for “The Driver Advantage™”. Ben is a passionate proponent for driver safety education, training and awareness. Continuously submerged in research targeting human behavior and driver safety; Ben initiates creative thinking that is evident in his writings. Ben also develops unique, exciting and results oriented driver safety programs and campaigns. His knowledge and common sense approach to driver safety is wrapped with authentic concern for people. Ben is also the co-found of Safety Wins, Inc. a 501©(3) non-profit organization. The Safety Wins concept of training fleet drivers at NASCAR Race Tracks throughout America was federally and privately funded. Today, Safety Wins, Inc focuses on Teen Driver Safety and continues to use the platform of motorsports to attract attention to their life saving driver safety message. Contact the author

- has written 72 posts on Driving Dynamics.


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