How close is too close?

psung4ever

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#1
Hey guys, first post here. Hours ago I was parked at a gas station when this lady started backing into me. I flashed her once but that didn't stop her and she kept on backing some more.
This happened somewhere in Thailand (infamous for car accidents). I was very uncomfortable and had to move away from her immediately once she parked.. totally forgetting to get out of the car to inspect for any damage and/or confront her. Because of this it makes me wonder how close is too close when it comes to parking or just driving behind a car in general? And had her car "touched" me even just slightly, would I have felt anything? I still don't understand why she had to back up this close to me and am a little paranoid that she might have bumped into me (which I doubt but couldn't stop thinking). Video is in the link below (from 1:00 to around 2:00). Sorry I didn't have the time to edit this down or censor out the lady (which I will do if it violates the forum's rules)!

https://drive.google.com/open?id=1U4uUNFrTXLzXqBLn-hIBVoMqBP7R3NeJ

Any thoughts or comments would be much appreciated.
 
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Nowuseeme

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#2
Absolutely and completely paranoid. Nothing happened. They were probably watching through their review cam anyway. Just keep it moving. If they had actually hit you, you may have something.

Sent from my SM-G965U using Tapatalk
 

Nigel

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#3
Because of this it makes me wonder how close is too close when it comes to parking or just driving behind a car in general?
When parking you can park as close as you want, as long as it doesn't mean the other person is stuck!

Cars should be able to withstand a 5km/h impact without noticeable damage so a slight touch is no problem. Don't test this out though, since if you do cause any damage, at any speed then you are responsible for repair.

When driving, you should leave a 2 second gap, or bigger.
 

sludgeguts

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#4
Rule 126 "allow at least a two-second gap between you and the vehicle in front on roads carrying faster-moving traffic and in tunnels where visibility is reduced. The gap should be at least doubled on wet roads and increased still further on icy roads"
Too many think the 2 second rule applies even at 20mph. Many also forget to add "wet on the floor, give it 2 seconds more" ie, double the gap.
Then there's icy roads - spend an age scraping that crap off your screen but firmly believe a posted speed limit still applies!
 

Nigel

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#5
Rule 126 "allow at least a two-second gap between you and the vehicle in front on roads carrying faster-moving traffic and in tunnels where visibility is reduced. The gap should be at least doubled on wet roads and increased still further on icy roads"
Too many think the 2 second rule applies even at 20mph. Many also forget to add "wet on the floor, give it 2 seconds more" ie, double the gap.
Then there's icy roads - spend an age scraping that crap off your screen but firmly believe a posted speed limit still applies!
So, what is your rule for 20 mph?
  • Human reaction time is still the same,
  • You are going slowly so 2 seconds isn't much distance,
  • Your brakes will not have time to warm up properly since there is a lot less speed involved, so there may be more difference between your braking ability and that of the person in front, it's the initial 2 seconds that makes most difference,
  • If your ABS operates because you are on a metal grid or gravel when you hit the brakes, you are traveling slower so will spend more time on the grid/gravel,
  • Your ABS reaction time is still the same.
So maybe 3 seconds for 20mph?
 

SawMaster

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#6
On this side of the pond it's recommended to leave 3 seconds for normal cars and conditions. With my heavy workvan that's just barely enough if I see the danger and react immediately. If I'm checking my mirrors momentarily there'd be a crash :eek: Darn few people actually know how quickly their vehicle can stop, which changes with road conditions, brake heat, and tires. Most only discover that when an emergency braking situation happens to them, and then it might be too late. And sometimes you get stopped in time but the car behind you doesn't; that happened to me once. Yet leaving adequate space often 'invites' other drivers to pull into it, thus eliminating your proper safety margin :mad: So there's no real solution save for being sure you can safely stop and hoping that other's won't impinge on your safe vehicle operation.

Phil
 

Nigel

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#7
On this side of the pond it's recommended to leave 3 seconds for normal cars and conditions. With my heavy workvan that's just barely enough if I see the danger and react immediately. If I'm checking my mirrors momentarily there'd be a crash :eek: Darn few people actually know how quickly their vehicle can stop, which changes with road conditions, brake heat, and tires. Most only discover that when an emergency braking situation happens to them, and then it might be too late. And sometimes you get stopped in time but the car behind you doesn't; that happened to me once. Yet leaving adequate space often 'invites' other drivers to pull into it, thus eliminating your proper safety margin :mad: So there's no real solution save for being sure you can safely stop and hoping that other's won't impinge on your safe vehicle operation.

Phil
Here there is an assumption that everybody's vehicles have the ability to stop equally quickly, and since they are all given an annual brake test and tire inspection, that is normally fairly accurate, even with heavy work vans!

Always surprises me how many people know how fast their vehicle can accelerate, but have never used the ABS! You only learn how to use the brakes and learn their capabilities with practice, and you don't want to do your practice in an emergency situation.
 

dash riposki

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#8
If that's the worst thing that happens to you in Thailand, you're lucky.
I can't tell if that's a normal parking area? Not sure what the cones are for?
Thai people like to do 'creative parking', and will even double park and block you in.
I've heard the custom is to not lock your car so the people you block in can roll your car out of the way. Not sure how that works with steering interlocks and automatic transmissions?
 

DashcamDPR

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#9
In my opinion, I think she knew how close she was and didn't hit your car and she wanted to be sure not to obstruct the car parked to her left. If I'd been in your car I'd have felt a little apprehensive but as there was no contact I wouldn't have given it a second thought, and while there's no rule about how close you park to another vehicle as long as you're not causing any obstruction, consideration plays a big part. I wouldn't park 2mm away from the car behind or in front purely because I wouldn't want someone to park 2mm away from my bumper, because there's every possibility they may not have taken it out of gear when they left, and then forgot when they got back in the car, started the engine and then bumped the car because they're too close to it.

Consideration is put way too low on people's lists of priorities when driving, and in some cases its right of way or nothing.
 

sludgeguts

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#10
So, what is your rule for 20 mph?
  • Human reaction time is still the same,
  • You are going slowly so 2 seconds isn't much distance,
  • Your brakes will not have time to warm up properly since there is a lot less speed involved, so there may be more difference between your braking ability and that of the person in front, it's the initial 2 seconds that makes most difference,
  • If your ABS operates because you are on a metal grid or gravel when you hit the brakes, you are traveling slower so will spend more time on the grid/gravel,
  • Your ABS reaction time is still the same.
So maybe 3 seconds for 20mph?
I didn't say if I agreed with that ruling or not but the fact remains, the highway code states the 2 second rule is for roads carrying faster moving traffic - but it doesn't define "faster".
Interestingly, according to our glorious leaders...
At 70mph, you cover just over 205ft in 2s and total stopping distance of 315ft. At 30mph, you cover 88ft in 2s and total stopping distance of 75ft. So, assuming you don't see the car ahead come to a dead stop, the 2s rule on "faster" roads is woefully inadequate.
When I look at a real-world scenario, trying to get out of a local junction, the cars coming down the road at 30mph too often leave far less than a 2s gap and yet manage to pull up in plenty of time when someone up ahead stops at a zebra crossing - perhaps because it is easier to spot this potential hazard.
Since 'peak' times have extended far and above what they used to be - there seems to be more of them (morning, lunchtime, mid afternoon, teatime) & they almost merge (7.30 - 10, 11.30 - 2, 3 - 4 & 4.30 - 7 approx.) I see far, far more traffic on local roads than ever before and all travelling well within the 2s rule yet all the prangs seem to be purely the result of someone doing something really stupid either going way too fast to beat the queue (away from lights or cutting up)
 

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#11
Our parking rules state: "You must not stop your vehicle ....... Within 1 metre of another vehicle parked in front or behind (does not apply when angle parking)". Even though car parks are private property, the same rules should apply.
 
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