Judge crash avoidance space

Most crashes can be avoided if there is enough space in front of your car to stop safely - a common term for this space is 'crash avoidance space'. Good drivers accurately judge their crash avoidance space at different speeds in different driving conditions, and will always try to keep this space free.

Activity: Judge crash avoidance space

First, learn to judge distance using a stopwatch by completing the activity Judge distance. You can now judge a space that is three seconds in front of your car - that’s crash avoidance space.

In good driving conditions, an attentive driver can react and brake to a stop just before a point that is three seconds in front of their vehicle. If driving conditions are not ideal, then the crash avoidance space will be more.

Keeping your crash avoidance space free

  • While riding as a passenger, imagine three seconds of crash avoidance space in front of your car.
  • Notice whether or not the space is free - at no stage should any other vehicle or person be in it. Things that could enter your crash avoidance space are called ‘hazards’.
  • Notice also vehicles and pedestrians that could move into your crash avoidance space from the sides.
  • Say to yourself (or to the driver): 'The next hazard that could enter my crash avoidance space is…'

Detecting hazards is only an early step in being safe. Learn about protecting crash avoidance space by using online driving games.

Next activity: how to detect hazards

Keys2drive is an Australian Government-funded program providing learner drivers and their parents/supervisors a free driving lesson with a Keys2drive accredited professional driving instructor