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Poll: How many use the 2 second rule when riding?
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How many use the 2 second rule when riding?

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  #1  
Old 05-14-2006, 12:59 PM
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Question How many use the 2 second rule when riding?

How many of us use the 2 second rule when riding, ie being able to see the road at least 2 seconds in front of you or keeping 2 seconds between you and the vehicle in front of you?
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  #2  
Old 05-14-2006, 01:07 PM
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Re: How many use the 2 second rule when riding?

As an Observer in the Institute of Advanced Motorists (!) here in the UK, the two second rule is rigourously taught. The two second rule applies when following another vehicle. So you can count about 23,000 motorcyclists in the UK who rigorously apply this maxim. In the UK, there was an advert which went: 'Only a fool breaks the two second rule' If you say this out loud and time it, you'll find that this takes 2 seconds. The way to apply the rule is to watch when the vehicle in front passes some marker ( a tree, a signpost, a piece of roadkill ) and then say the little ditty. Works every time. The 2 second rule applies in open road conditions and, in towns, because speeds are generally lower and you have a better chance of slowing down and people would get really pissed off if you left a 2 second gap, we suggest say that, conditions allowing, this gap should be reduced to, say a second. In wet weather, we recommend increasing this gap - even doubling it!
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  #3  
Old 05-14-2006, 01:15 PM
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Re: How many use the 2 second rule when riding?

I thought it was the .2 second rule=oops!
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Old 05-14-2006, 03:24 PM
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Re: How many use the 2 second rule when riding?

I'm with you Chris; only I thought it meant to pass in less than 2 seconds.
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Old 05-14-2006, 07:00 PM
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Re: How many use the 2 second rule when riding?

I can only stand being behind a loud obnoxious Harley for about 1 second.

So, I guess the answer would be NO!!!!
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  #6  
Old 05-14-2006, 08:13 PM
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Re: How many use the 2 second rule when riding?

Pass and leave the cages behind. Tailgating of any sort is ignorant, and if you if eat it because you were, lesson learned.
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Old 05-14-2006, 11:52 PM
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Re: How many use the 2 second rule when riding?

2 seconds, that is pretty damn far! damn cars need to maintain the speed.
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  #8  
Old 05-15-2006, 07:12 AM
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Re: How many use the 2 second rule when riding?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Sion
As an Observer in the Institute of Advanced Motorists (!) here in the UK, the two second rule is rigorously taught.

Think you will find some of our colonial cousins ride a tad differently to us . Of course we have some folk who do their own thing as well...I try to avoid riding with them. I am fairly lucky in that there are still some stretches of good roads where there are no other vehicles, its just a case of watching out for wayward sheep and deer .

I think the important thing is to know what the safe limits are, then its an individual choice whether to exceed them, but I do hope someone compromising their safety does not affect me and those riding with me.
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  #9  
Old 05-15-2006, 08:08 AM
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Re: How many use the 2 second rule when riding?

I voted "never".

I think I subconsciously allow about one car length for every 10 mph, plus a little more. Never thought of it in "time" units.

I wonder how that correlates to the "2 second rule"?
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  #10  
Old 05-15-2006, 08:11 AM
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Re: How many use the 2 second rule when riding?

depends on the situation and whom one is riding with, with my regular riding buds in stagger formation we are not 2 seconds behind the bike firstly in front (but offset by stagger) but closer to that to the bike 2nd in front but directly ahead. when on more boring stretches of road, when in the twisties we string out and maintain more of a gap to allow for someone to have a problem and not dog pile into it.
If I am solo a behind a veh, I pass as soon as I can, while waiting I am not 2 seconds behind, I am closer and in position to get around with my fingers covering the brakes and watching both for passing and also for escape routes. If the pass isnt coming up very soon I back off and wait till the oportunity is approaching.
All part of thinking ahead while being aware of the present.
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  #11  
Old 05-16-2006, 12:18 PM
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Re: How many use the 2 second rule when riding?

Quote:
Originally Posted by fasteddieb
I voted "never".

I think I subconsciously allow about one car length for every 10 mph, plus a little more. Never thought of it in "time" units.

I wonder how that correlates to the "2 second rule"?

Try it and see. I think you'll find that it does.
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  #12  
Old 05-16-2006, 12:35 PM
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Re: How many use the 2 second rule when riding?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Deerhead
How many of us use the 2 second rule when riding,....
Quite often there isn't 2 seconds of voew available unless you go so slow you're at risk of being ran over from behind. Good rule, but it depends on the road.
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  #13  
Old 05-16-2006, 12:44 PM
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Re: How many use the 2 second rule when riding?

I am with Eddie on this Never. I always thought 1 second per 10 MPH. My general riding plan is to try to stay away from cars ( and trucks ). Either pass em and leave them well behind or stay well behind them, or pull over and let the ones that look like they are careless/crazy/may not have brakes/ lights /whatever, leave. Hell I can always take another route or be late eaiser than healing. 2 seconds at 80 and I would want the trunk or the rear doors open. Maybe the 2 second rule is why I think everone is a tailgater.
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  #14  
Old 05-16-2006, 01:52 PM
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Re: How many use the 2 second rule when riding?

Never follow, always lead. Pass em and gas em.
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  #15  
Old 05-17-2006, 10:55 AM
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Re: How many use the 2 second rule when riding?

When I voted Always had the highest vote. I find this hard to believe: At 60 MPH = 88 ft/sec. 30 MPH = 44 ft/sec. For the less mathematically inclined, at 60 mph all you 2-second rule (always) are 176 feet behind any vehicle in front of you. And in heavy, bumper to bumper traffic going at 30 mph you are 88 feet behind vehicle in front??????

Uhhh, let's see, on I-95 Super slab keeping a distance of near 200 foot gap in traffic will get you killed; but that's unlikely because it's IMPOSSIBLE to keep those distances.

Now don't get me wrong . . . I would love it if the LEO'S enforced this rule but hell, they are the biggest offenders, 18 wheelers, etc. The MSF actually teaches the 4 second rule. DO THE MATH.
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Old 05-17-2006, 10:58 AM
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Re: How many use the 2 second rule when riding?

Quote: but I do hope someone compromising their safety does not affect me and those riding with me.

Well said Rennie, and while I strongly advocate the 2-second rule I contend that strict adherence to that rule with others totally ignoring it is actually more dangerous IMO.
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Old 05-17-2006, 11:51 AM
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Re: How many use the 2 second rule when riding?

Ok I,m confused. If I come up on a stopped semi at 100 mph it takes me a second to react I have a second to stop? Up over the rise and the truck hit a highway bridge abutment, can I stop in 1 second? Is my reaction time faster. But also realize most cars in traffic are very close. Also realize there are wrecks every day during rush hour. When in traffic my usual method is to move through ( pass ) or choose another route sometime even slow down. It may be 200 feet but if it takes 125 feet to stop??? I can't handle the math I guess.
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Old 05-17-2006, 12:20 PM
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Re: How many use the 2 second rule when riding?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Scot
Ok I,m confused. If I come up on a stopped semi at 100 mph it takes me a second to react I have a second to stop? Up over the rise and the truck hit a highway bridge abutment, can I stop in 1 second? Is my reaction time faster. But also realize most cars in traffic are very close. Also realize there are wrecks every day during rush hour. When in traffic my usual method is to move through ( pass ) or choose another route sometime even slow down. It may be 200 feet but if it takes 125 feet to stop??? I can't handle the math I guess.

This higher math is tough Scot . . . better get out the calculator!
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Old 05-17-2006, 12:38 PM
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Re: How many use the 2 second rule when riding?

I just presumed you were joking but I read your reply more closely. The 2-second rule IMPLIES that:
Reaction Time + Braking Distance can be accommodated inside of 2-seconds. Obviously, road conditions e.g. Ice, rain will change that.

E.g. Trailer truck stopped in middle of the road over a rise (importance of sight distance) at exactly 176 ft. and you are going 60 mph and your cycle can STOP (not swerve) in 125 ft. you only have 51 ft. of reaction time. (51 feet at 60 mph is 51/88==.58 seconds) If you don't decide to stop in 51 ft. you are going to hit the truck. Hope that clears it up.
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Old 05-17-2006, 01:02 PM
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Re: How many use the 2 second rule when riding?

Bam. Was half joking but I think the distance and time has to increase exponentially as speed increases. Everything changes with speed: braking distance, impact force, but our reaction time stays pretty constant, if we get any warning in the first place. Flat 2 seconds assumes things work the same at all speeds. This graph should have a curve!
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Old 05-17-2006, 07:51 PM
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Re: How many use the 2 second rule when riding?

Just came back from a ride. Really comfortable at 3 seconds. Relaxed at 4-5. Speeds 60-65 on State Routes. 2 seconds seems close, maybe I count to fast.
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Old 05-17-2006, 08:39 PM
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Talking Re: How many use the 2 second rule when riding?

Or should I say: Most of the times, either with the car or with the bike. Must be getting old but did not hit anybody, nor was hit, in quite a while.
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Old 05-18-2006, 05:43 PM
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Re: How many use the 2 second rule when riding?

Haven't heard of the 4 second rule? Is it the same as the 2 second rule regarding following and site distance but just extended to 4 seconds?
I retake the basic riding course about every 3 years and the experienced riders course about the same. I try to alternate them about every 2 years or so. You pick up some bad habits while riding. While the courses might not change your habits you'll at least know your weaknesses!
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  #24  
Old 05-18-2006, 06:37 PM
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Re: How many use the 2 second rule when riding?

Yup, double 2 second rule. I find it a bit humorous, not to be cocky but see my earlier post.
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  #25  
Old 05-19-2006, 02:25 AM
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Re: How many use the 2 second rule when riding?

There is a simple rule :-

stopping distance (in feet) = speed(in mph)**2/20 + speed(in mph)

BTW speed**2 = speed*speed

so, @30mph stoping distance = 75 feet
and @60mph stopping distance = 240 feet

The speed part takes care of the reaction time...

and, of course, imperial feet may be different from US feet
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  #26  
Old 05-19-2006, 04:11 AM
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Re: How many use the 2 second rule when riding?

In the Netherlands traffic is very crowded and the 2 second rule is not possible over here. A two second gap means that at least two cages, one pizza delivery boy on a moped and fourteen bicycles try to squeeze in. Traffic over here is somthing like a permanent LA, but with the attitude of Mexico City.
If you leave a gap larger than one second the guy in front of you is never going to move to the right side of the road (overtaking on the left side only), so tailgating is very common over here. Not nice, not safe, but as traffic is moving slowly it is less dangerous than it seems.
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Old 05-19-2006, 10:50 AM
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Re: How many use the 2 second rule when riding?

Obviously some of us do not understand the original question about the 2 second rule or are making jokes.


the 2 second rule for following distance is REACTION time, or time to begin applying your brakes when you see a problem or brake light in front of you.

And yes Eddie, this IS the old one length per 10 second rule, just easier to compute, or measure.

You CAN ride closer, but you must be more alert and ready to react. the 2 second (minimum) distance allows you to ride more relaxed and still in control of traffic situations.


The 4 SECOND rule is reaction time PLUS stopping distance. this is the time required to avoid someone[thing] in your path of travel.

this is a good rule to use also on curvy roads when you cannot see all the way around the curve. slow til you can see the clear exit of the curve and then roll on.

Obviously some of the readers do not follow this rule. BUT some of them occasionally crash because of this.



There, now that that is all cleared up, lets go out and ride - and maybe a little safer.




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Old 05-19-2006, 03:13 PM
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Re: How many use the 2 second rule when riding?

Yes indeed. 0-60 in 2 seconds. Words to live by!

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Old 06-08-2009, 04:50 PM
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Re: How many use the 2 second rule when riding?

bump
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Old 06-08-2009, 05:54 PM
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Re: How many use the 2 second rule when riding?

Alaways. Quite fluently more than 2 seconds.
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Old 06-08-2009, 06:41 PM
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Re: How many use the 2 second rule when riding?

not sure if its 2 secs

it is adequate .................... kinda stupid rear ending a car

bike 2 bike we always stagger & stay in the "pocket'

pocket = full view in rear view mirror......................that seems to work

ive seen bikes get together toooo from lack of attention
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Old 06-08-2009, 08:20 PM
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Re: How many use the 2 second rule when riding?

If you do the 2 second rule in VA, then 6 cars jam in in front of you. After about 5 miles, you are back to where you started. The only thing worse than VA drivers is MD drivers in VA.
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Old 06-08-2009, 08:26 PM
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Re: How many use the 2 second rule when riding?

Quote:
Originally Posted by allikanbe
If you do the 2 second rule in VA, then 6 cars jam in in front of you. After about 5 miles, you are back to where you started. The only thing worse than VA drivers is MD drivers in VA.

its 2 seconds closing or 2 seconds in front of the last car you passed

that equals a car every 2 seconds

unless its unmarked
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Old 06-08-2009, 08:27 PM
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Re: How many use the 2 second rule when riding?

I follow that rule. If I'm not going to pass in 2 seconds or less, I give the car in front some space.
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Old 06-08-2009, 09:25 PM
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Re: How many use the 2 second rule when riding?

I try to keep two seconds but they speed up and catch up to me, so I go
faster and they still catch me. What should I do then????
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Old 06-08-2009, 09:38 PM
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Re: How many use the 2 second rule when riding?

Quote:
Originally Posted by cousi
I try to keep two seconds but they speed up and catch up to me, so I go
faster and they still catch me. What should I do then????

Get off the sissy twin??
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Old 06-08-2009, 09:49 PM
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Re: How many use the 2 second rule when riding?

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Get off the sissy twin??
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Old 06-09-2009, 08:31 AM
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Re: How many use the 2 second rule when riding?

I know someone that should use the "15" second rule
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Old 06-09-2009, 12:25 PM
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Re: How many use the 2 second rule when riding?

2 seconds at 60 mph would be 176 feet. We can see 176 feet ahead! We're good!

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Old 06-09-2009, 01:45 PM
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Re: How many use the 2 second rule when riding?

Maybe I'm more of a hooligan than I think, but I do the first option of the original question: "ie being able to see the road at least 2 seconds in front of you or ..."

On a straight stretch with a large vehicle in front of me, I'll stay back 2 seconds. With a normal sized car in front of me, I position myself such that I can see the road ahead of them. That way I have time to avoid pot holes or debris. Some drivers don't stay put in the lane very well so it means having to change lane position often. If they're really bad, I just back off or pass them. On long highway curves, I stay to the inside so I can see the road ahead of the car (or two) in front of me.

Also, I've never thought of the 2-second rule as trying to provide enough distance to actually stop. I always thought it was meant to account for reaction time and variances in stopping ability. The car in front of you won't be stopping in zero distance, so you don't need to be able to stop entirely within your gap.
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Old 06-09-2009, 09:18 PM
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Re: How many use the 2 second rule when riding?

Quote:
Originally Posted by SparkEE
The car in front of you won't be stopping in zero distance, so you don't need to be able to stop entirely within your gap.

Good point!

Plus, in certain situations, you would be just asking for someone to try and cut out
in front of you.
I ride where I feel comfortable and don't find myself counting "one one-thousand, two
one-thousand" all the time!
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Old 06-30-2009, 03:58 PM
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Re: How many use the 2 second rule when riding?

I never noticed it but seems like I leave plenty of room for my buddies to crash in front of me. Now is that two seconds
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Old 06-30-2009, 08:35 PM
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Re: How many use the 2 second rule when riding?

I never use the "two second rule"...'cause I want to live!! You should use the "one second for every ten mph. rule"... much healthier!!
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Old 07-03-2009, 12:21 AM
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Re: How many use the 2 second rule when riding?

2 seconds, 2 feet what's the difference?

OK fine but if I am 6" to the side of the car then that car doesn't count as being in front of me, right?

Seriously, I never ride directly behind any car. I like to be able see what is happening several cars in front of me. As for passing if traffic is light I pass or drop back and enjoy the scenery. On the commute to and from work though traffic is very heavy. Passing any one car or dozen cars makes little difference besides my arrival time. I usually ride close to the cage in front of me and far enough to the side that if the cage behide us was directly aligned he would miss me and hit the car in front of me. staying close to the cage on front of me also gives the cage behind me something else to notice besides little (often overlooked) ol' me.
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Old 07-30-2009, 12:28 PM
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Re: How many use the 2 second rule when riding?

Quote:
Originally Posted by trip.leo
I never use the "two second rule"...'cause I want to live!! You should use the "one second for every ten mph. rule"... much healthier!!

Thats suposed to be: "one car length for every ten mph. rule"

And the two second is the equivalent to that, - only a lot easier to estimate. If you do it often enough, you will find yourself automatically riding at this distance most of the time. A good habit to be in, when riding with the traffic flow [even in your car].
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Old 07-30-2009, 12:41 PM
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Re: How many use the 2 second rule when riding?

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Thats suposed to be: "one car length for every ten mph. rule"...
..... Oops. I figure we make it to "n", as in One thousan...



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Old 07-30-2009, 08:42 PM
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Re: How many use the 2 second rule when riding?

Quote:
Originally Posted by cabnfvr
..... Oops. I figure we make it to "n", as in One thousan...

Had a cruiser rider come up on us (in town). He must've thought we were riding
buddies 'cause I could see his front wheel out of the corner of my eye.

Then there's the guy who's supposedly riding with you that's pacing you from a quarter mile back using you for bait.

I like the ones that are far enough back that when I plow into the side of a pick-
up truck they don't follw me in, but close enough that they're a witness.
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Old 08-02-2009, 08:05 AM
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Re: How many use the 2 second rule when riding?

The one second passing and lane change rule works for me...for some reason Ma, RI, and Ct. drivers love to lane camp at travel lane speed....so its game on!!!..hey it keeps the tires evenly worn
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Old 08-03-2009, 11:27 AM
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Re: How many use the 2 second rule when riding?

I always try to keep clear of traffic ahead, and if stuck behind or with a group use the 2 second rule ( at least) . This saved me recently when the truck ahead of my lost a mattress on the freeway ( not tied down ..dumb redneck) . Luckily there was space to avoid it.
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Old 08-03-2009, 06:03 PM
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Re: How many use the 2 second rule when riding?

I also use the 1 car length for every 10MPH. The exception is when I am getting ready to pass at which point I try and make sure I have an escape route if something goes wrong.
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Old 04-13-2010, 04:17 PM
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Re: How many use the 2 second rule when riding?

bump
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Old 12-16-2010, 10:08 AM
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Re: How many use the 2 second rule when riding?

I live by the words of a wise man, Rick AKA RBEmerson, who wrote:

"Never let your bike take you where your brain wasn't at least five seconds ago"
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Old 12-16-2010, 10:59 AM
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Re: How many use the 2 second rule when riding?

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Originally Posted by redman
I live by the words of a wise man, Rick AKA RBEmerson, who wrote:

"Never let your bike take you where your brain wasn't at least five seconds ago"

Great words for life in general.
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Old 12-16-2010, 11:09 AM
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Re: How many use the 2 second rule when riding?

Quote:
Originally Posted by allikanbe
If you do the 2 second rule in VA, then 6 cars jam in in front of you. After about 5 miles, you are back to where you started.

that's what I was going to say...applies to AZ drivers as well...
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Old 12-16-2010, 02:01 PM
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Re: How many use the 2 second rule when riding?

Quote:
Originally Posted by allikanbe
If you do the 2 second rule in VA, then 6 cars jam in in front of you. After about 5 miles, you are back to where you started.

Quote:
Originally Posted by MotomanK12
that's what I was going to say...applies to AZ drivers as well...

It only seems like you are going backwards. You are still making good time, - - - and leaving yourself a safety cushion.
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Old 12-17-2010, 08:54 AM
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Red face When riding 2 up

When riding 2 up:

I use a 3 second rule for following distance

and

a 1 second rule for eyes not forward.

Have to allow for extra braking distance and slower maneuverability.
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Old 12-17-2010, 10:43 AM
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Re: How many use the 2 second rule when riding?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Scot
Just came back from a ride. Really comfortable at 3 seconds. Relaxed at 4-5. Speeds 60-65 on State Routes. 2 seconds seems close, maybe I count to fast.

+1 not only do you need 2 seconds to react and brake, but also to react and steer around obstacles that pass under the vehicle in front(eg. pothole or debris)

But in practice I put as much space between me and other vehicles as is reasonably possible, especially 18 wheelers.
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Old 06-29-2011, 03:31 AM
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Re: How many use the 2 second rule when riding?

Quote:
Originally Posted by sparkyblue
+1 not only do you need 2 seconds to react and brake, but also to react and steer around obstacles that pass under the vehicle in front(eg. pothole or debris)

But in practice I put as much space between me and other vehicles as is reasonably possible, especially 18 wheelers.
A re-visit...Its best to make your own lane. Never stay directly behind a vehicle in font of you. Keep to the inside of the lane so you can see past the vehicle in front of you making basically your own lane. You will be able to see any obstacles that would come your way...
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Old 06-29-2011, 07:57 AM
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Re: How many use the 2 second rule when riding?

Quote:
Originally Posted by BAK04GT
A re-visit...Its best to make your own lane. Never stay directly behind a vehicle in font of you. Keep to the inside of the lane so you can see past the vehicle in front of you making basically your own lane. You will be able to see any obstacles that would come your way...
... and be sure you know what's over that next HILL. Just saying.
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Old 06-29-2011, 09:47 AM
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Re: When riding 2 up

Quote:
Originally Posted by BMW
I use a 3 second rule for following distance

When riding the GSA, I start out by using the 2 second rule but then it continues to grow because I can't keep up with who I'm following...
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