Following Distances

A safe following distance depends on your speed, the weather, road conditions and the type of vehicle you are driving. In good conditions, you should drive at least two seconds behind the vehicle in front of you.

To determine the two seconds - watch the vehicle in front as it passes a landmark, such as a tree, sign, power pole or overpass. As it passes the landmark, start counting ‘one thousand and one, one thousand and two’ (this takes about two seconds). If you pass the landmark before you finish counting to two seconds, you’re too close.

It is important to increase your following distance if the weather or road conditions are poor, driving a heavy vehicle or towing a trailer.

If the vehicle in front of you is a truck or road train, be aware that it will take longer to slow down than a light vehicle.

Turning your headlight onto high beam is not permitted if you’re driving less than 200m behind a vehicle, and if an oncoming vehicle is less than 200m away.

Offence Penalty Demerits
Failing to follow a vehicle at a safe distance $200 2
 

The information available on our website provides a simple interpretation of the law and is not intended to constitute legal advice. Full details of traffic offences and penalties are contained in the Road Traffic Code 2000.