Have you ever driven on an empty road? There’s freedom in knowing that you don’t have to worry about anyone else, that the only person who could harm you is yourself.
Yet that is not how driving usually works. Most days, your safety depends on many other people. If any one of them makes a poor decision, it could end your life or at least require a visit to the hospital.
While you cannot exclude other drivers from the road, you can try and keep them at a safe distance.
At least 3 seconds
If you are following someone, you should be at least three seconds behind them. Vehicle safety experts recommend this is the simplest way to calculate a safe following distance, much simpler than trying to gauge distance.
Sometimes you need to increase the distance
Think of it as a minimum rather than a rule. If visibility is poor or the surface is loose or slippery, you need to stay further back.
What if someone is too close behind you?
You cannot force them to sit further back, and you certainly should not try anything like slamming on your brakes. The safest option is to try and let them pass when safe to do so. If they seem reluctant, you may need to pull over to the side of the road yourself. The seconds it will cost you are nothing compared to what being rear-ended would involve.
Sometimes, however, there is nothing you can do to prevent a crash. All you can do is seek legal help to hold the other driver responsible for the compensation you will need.