Legal Guide

Should There Be a Space Between the Motorcycle and Car?

Whether a motorcycle driver or driving a car with motorcycles on the road, it is important that drivers of both vehicles maintain proper safety precautions to keep everyone on the road safe. Preventing an accident can often come down to the amount of space between a motorcycle and a car.

How Does Space Help?

If any vehicle on the road has to stop quickly for any animal or any other reason, vehicles following too close behind will be unable to stop fast enough. This can cause a vehicle to rear-end the stopped vehicle. When the stopped vehicle is a motorcycle, the rider can be seriously injured. Visit for more information about motorcycle accidents.

By maintaining a safe driving distance from the vehicle ahead, drivers will have plenty of time to stop their vehicle if the front vehicle needs to stop quickly. Most people pursuing their first driver’s license will learn that this safe space is approximately two seconds or a car space for every ten miles of speed behind the front vehicle.

How Much Space for a Car Behind a Motorcycle?

The 2-second rule is the standard for two cars on the road during normal driving conditions. However, different conditions require different standards to ensure safety. For example, if it is a foggy day, it is important to drive slower and farther behind another vehicle in case the driver is unable to see a stop.

This is true when driving a car behind a motorcycle. It is suggested that a vehicle maintain at least a 3 to 4-second distance behind a motorcycle. To do this, simply pick out a marker on the road. When the motorcycle passes that marker, begin counting 1-one thousand, 2-one-thousand, 3-one-thousand. When the vehicle passes the same marker, that is the distance. Slow and repeat until the desired distance is reached.

The reason for the additional space when following a motorcycle is the fact that drivers often have difficulties judging the distance between them and a motorcycle. 

The motorcycle is smaller and often has a much smaller brake light than a car driver may be used to. This can make it harder to judge when they are getting too close to the motorcycle. By keeping the extra distance, the car driver is more able to stop in time.

How Much Space for a Motorcycle Behind a Car?

With a motorcycle, it can be harder to stop quickly without putting the driver at risk. This makes it important for them to cautiously judge the gap they maintain between them and the vehicle they are following. A 2- to 3-second gap may not be enough in some situations.

The type of car that the motorcycle is following is a variable to consider. Newer vehicles are able to stop quicker than older vehicles. Motorcycle riders may want to add a little distance between them and a newer car to ensure they can stop in time.

Different weather conditions and the bike’s braking abilities are also factors to consider when judging the proper gap to leave between the motorcycle and the car in front. It is also a good idea for motorcycle riders to pay attention to any load being carried by the front vehicle. An unsecured load could be very dangerous.

Many accidents can be avoided by taking a few preventative steps. Not only can it save the cost of damage to the vehicle, but it can save lives and prevent serious injuries. Whenever a person is traveling, safety should always be a priority.

More to Read: