A motorist who drives his car behind another car has to maintain a safe distance between his car and the one he is following. While a motorist may assume the car he is following is being driven in a safe manner and with care and caution, the following motorist must maintain a safe distance. What is a safe distance? That depends on many factors. Speed and distance between the leading and following cars play into the formula. The distance should allow the following motorist to avoid a collision, meaning the following motorist must maintain a safe speed so as not to tailgate or crowd the leading vehicle and to allow enough room to slow down.