Skip to main content

a. Failing to keep a safe distance and rear-end collisions

Every driver knows that it is essential to keep a safe distance while driving. The Road Users’ Code contains some discussion on stopping distances, which may be somewhat technical.  If we skip the technical part, the plain advice is: “Leave a big enough gap between you and the vehicle in front – big enough for you to stop safely if the vehicle suddenly slows down or stops…If you have to take panic action because you have insufficient room to act smoothly, you are either going too fast or driving too close to the vehicle in front.


The logical consequence of failing to keep a safe distance is of course a rear-end collision. While the mere fact of a rear-end collision cannot be irrefutable evidence of carelessness, the Court is entitled to infer carelessness from such a fact, and does so consistently.  In other words, unless there are some exceptional circumstances, a driver who drives a vehicle into the one ahead would often be considered careless.