How Can 12 Seconds Help Avoid an Accident?

Because there is a lot of obstacles that end up on the roadway—such as garbage, furniture, tire chunks, road kill, and other debris—drivers constantly need to scan the road in order to drive defensively. There is one rule that the Department of Motor Vehicles recommends all motorists do to avoid collisions with such objects. It advises that drivers should scan the road at least 12 seconds ahead to avoid potential trouble spots and to identify possible road hazards.

How the 12 Second Rule Could Save Your Life

Every driver needs to be able to see what is in front of him, to the sides, and in the rear. Being able to see everything clearly helps drivers avoid any last-minute maneuvers. This is why it is recommended that drivers look ahead 12 seconds while driving in the city, and 12 to 15 seconds on the highway. In the city, 12 seconds is about one city block, and on the highway 12 to 15 seconds is approximately one-quarter mile.

By looking ahead this far, drivers can see the entire picture in order to react to things early instead of making a last-minute lane change or sudden stop to avoid a problem in the road. Constantly scanning 12 seconds ahead helps a driver minimize his or her chances of being involved in an Atlanta car accident, and may end up saving the driver’s or passengers’ lives.

How to Scan the Road Properly

Scanning the road doesn’t mean to leave your eyes focused down the middle of your lane. Proper scanning includes taking in your entire surroundings, as far ahead as your eye can see – and even to the sides. While you are scanning the road 12 seconds ahead, you should look for the following things to avoid, including:

  • Broken-down vehicles
  • Slow-moving vehicles
  • Stopped vehicle waiting turn right
  • Road construction and warning signs
  • Vehicles entering your path

If you are looking ahead, it helps you stay alert and awake, and you are less likely to end up in a car crash. However, even the most defensive driver can still end up in a wreck caused by someone else’s negligence. For this reason, if you've been injured in a car accident, you should not hesitate to get the involvement of a personal injury lawyer from our firm as soon as possible.