Bikers should never underestimate how much distance is necessary between the cars in front of them. Many tend to believe that a lighter motorcycle can break faster than a car, but that can be a dangerous fallacy.
According to a motorcycle safety institute in Germany, a current mid-range car will need, on average, 34 meters to go from 100 kilometers per hour to a complete stop. However, an experienced biker on a modern bike will needs about 40 meters – and this doesn’t take reaction time into account.
To maintain the proper distance, the safety institute recommends a practical rule of thumb on its website: bikers should observe the delay time between them and the car in front of them.
They can start by choosing a point, like a street lamp or a traffic sign, where the car will pass by before them.
When driving in the city, the distance is long enough if the biker can count one full second before reaching the selected landmark. At 50 km/h, this corresponds to about three car lengths.
When driving at 100 km/h, the time differential should be two seconds, which would imply a distance of about 55.5 meters. If the biker reaches the point before counting the necessary time, they are following too closely.