Ministry of Transportation / Ministère des Transports
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III. Keeping a cushion of space around you
Distance in front

Always keep at least a two-second distance behind the vehicle in front of you. This gives you time to react if something happens ahead. It also gives you a better view of things in the road, such as potholes, slippery spots, chunks of tire tread or debris. If conditions are less than ideal, such as in bad weather, leave even more space. To give yourself at least a two-second space, follow these steps:

  1. Pick a marker on the road ahead, such as a road sign or hydro pole.
  2. When the rear of the vehicle ahead passes the marker, count “one thousand and one, one thousand and two.”
  3. When you reach the marker, stop counting. If you reach the marker before you count “one thousand and two,” you are following too closely.

Diagram showing the distance to keep from the car in front of the rider

When you stop behind another vehicle, leave enough space to pull out and pass without having to back up about one motorcycle length. If the vehicle in front is large, leave more space. Leaving this space protects you in three ways: it lets you pull around the vehicle in front if it stalls; it helps prevent you from being pushed into the vehicle ahead if you are hit from behind; and it reduces the risk of collision if the vehicle ahead rolls backward or backs up.