What is the 2-Second Rule?

The 2-second rule is a technique used to estimate a safe following distance between your vehicle and the traffic ahead. It is a general rule of thumb taught in every driving school across the United States. The premise is that by following behind traffic by two seconds, you will have the time and space to brake safely.

How Exactly Does the 2-second Rule Work?

This rule requires that you maintain a safe following distance regardless of your driving speed. To estimate a safe distance, wait until the rear end of the vehicle you're following to pass a fixed object, such as an overhead road sign, a signpost, or a tree.

When the car in front passes the landmark, the front of your vehicle should pass the same fixed point within the allotted two seconds. If you take less than two seconds, you should increase the distance. Repeat this method until you're able to maintain a distance of at least two seconds.

The State of Wisconsin Department of Transportation also recommends drivers to adjust their driving to accommodate various road conditions. The DOT suggests using 3 seconds at night, and 4 seconds during bad weather. In addition, drivers should be more cautious when approaching intersections, changing lanes, and braking for a stop light.

The Importance of the 2-Second Rule

Practicing the 2-second rule is essential for many reasons. Here are reasons why you should use this rule.

Reduce the Risk of Collisions

Generally, it can take you a second to discover that a car ahead has stopped. This leaves you with only a second to either take evasive action or bring your vehicle to a complete stop to avoid a possible collision. The 2-second rule can also reduce the severity of injuries in case of a crash.

Create a Safety Buffer

Sometimes it isn't easy to estimate the appropriate following distance or stop times that are suggested for a given speed. The 2-second rule provides an easy, common-sense method to handle these problems and create a buffer, improving road safety.

Avoid Aggressive Drivers

According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Council (NHTSC), aggressive driving causes collisions, injuries, and even fatalities, and it should be avoided. So if the person ahead is driving aggressively or tailgating, you may want to provide enough space to prevent emergencies. Remember that if the car you're following ends up in a crash, it'll be even more challenging for you to avoid rear-ending them.

Looking for a Professional Milwaukee Car Accident Attorney? Get In Touch Today

The 2-second rule is a tried and true rule of thumb that has helped millions of motorists safely navigate roadways for years. However accidents are inevitable, and when they occur, you want to find a qualified attorney to represent you.

Natasha Misra Law fights for your rights to receive fair compensation for your injuries and losses. We work with clients from Milwaukee, Madison, Hales Corners, Appleton, and Green Bay. Please contact us today to consult with our professional attorneys about your car accident.


What is Automobile Insurance?

Automobile insurance is a contractual agreement between you and your insurance company. Your insurance company promises to provide compensation for injuries or property damage that you suffer as the result of an automobile accident in exchange for a premium.  

Wisconsin drivers are required by Wisconsin’s Financial Responsibility Law to carry automobile insurance.  At minimum, your auto insurance policy must provide liability coverage for the following amounts:

  • $25,000 for injury or death of one person,
  • $50,000 for injury or death of two or more people, and
  • $10,000 for property damage.

Additionally, Wisconsin drivers are required to carry uninsured motorist coverage with a minimum bodily injury coverage of at least $25,000 for injury or death of one person and $50,000 for injury or death of two or more people.

Who Is Covered by the Automobile Insurance?

Personal automobile insurance covers you (the named insured), your spouse, other relatives living in the same household and anyone you give permission to driver your automobile unless excluded from the policy.

Types of Auto Insurance Coverage Required Under Wisconsin’s Financial Responsibility Law

Bodily Injury Liability Coverage

If you are responsible for an auto accident that injures other people, bodily injury liability coverage protects your personal assets up to the stated amount of coverage for medical expenses, lost wages, pain and suffering, as well as other losses sustained by the injured individuals. Bodily injury coverage does not cover your injuries that you experience as a result of an accident that is your fault.  

Property Damage Liability Coverage

Property damage liability coverage, on the other hand, pays for property damage that you cause as a result of a car accident.  This coverage pays for any damage up to your insurance policy’s limit.  This coverage includes damages to someone else’s vehicle, someone else’s personal property and structural damage to property you do not own such as a street sign or light pole.

Uninsured Motorist Coverage (UM)

This coverage is for you, your family and other passengers in your vehicle who sustain injuries when struck by a vehicle who has no insurance or by a hit and run driver. This coverage also covers you and your family members if injured as a pedestrian when struck by a driver with no insurance or a driver who hits you and leaves the scene of an accident. The amount covered is based on the policy limits purchased.  

Types of Auto Insurance Coverages That Are Not Required Under Wisconsin’s Financial Responsibility Law

Underinsured Motorist Coverage (UIM)

Although underinsured (UIM) coverage is not mandatory, many Wisconsin driver choose to carry this type of coverage for further protection.  You should choose to have UIM coverage in case the at fault party does not have sufficient policy limits to cover your losses. UIM coverage increases the bodily injury protection to you and the passengers in your vehicle if the limits of the at fault party are less than your UIM coverage limits.  

Medical Payments Coverage

Medical payments coverage is a benefit that pays for medical expenses or funeral expenses for you or any others injured or killed in an auto accident in your vehicle regardless of fault. This type of coverage also covers you or your family members as pedestrians if hit by a car or riding as a passenger in someone else’s vehicle.

This type of coverage is useful to pay for co-payments or deductibles that your health insurance does not cover, as well as applicable out-of-pocket expenses.  

Other Types of Auto Insurance Coverage

While Wisconsin’s Financial Responsibility Law requires drivers to carry bodily injury liability coverage, property damage liability coverage, and uninsured motorist coverage, many drivers choose to purchase more coverage than is required by law to protect their personal assets after an accident.

Collision Coverage

This coverage will repair damages to your vehicle or pay in the event your vehicle has been declared totaled from a collision with another vehicle or object, even if you are at fault for the accident.  

Even though collision coverage is not mandatory in the State of Wisconsin, financial institutions (lienholders) may require you to take out collision coverage to protect their interest at the time of a collision.

Comprehensive Coverage

Comprehensive coverage is an elective coverage that pays for damage to your vehicle caused by covered events such as theft, vandalism, flooding, hail, broken glass, falling objects and even hitting an animal such as a deer.

Contact Wisconsin Personal Injury Attorney Natasha Misra

If you have been injured in an auto accident, you should discuss your options with an experienced Milwaukee personal injury attorney. Natasha Misra Law helps Wisconsin accident victims seek the compensation they deserve for their injuries. If you have been in an accident and suffered from bodily injury or property damage, you should not have to bear the economic burden. Together, we will look at the facts of your case and uncover all potential sources of recovery.

Call our office today at (414) 635-2833 for a free consultation and speak with an experienced Milwaukee car accident lawyer.

Natasha Misra

My law practice is dedicated to helping people who have suffered injuries in accidents which were not their fault. Born and raised in Milwaukee, I come from a family of medical professionals. My background and experience help me understand and represent individuals injured in accidents.