Safety distance

Whatever speed you are travelling at, you must always keep sufficient distance between yourself and the vehicle in front of you. This distance should be such that you can stop if the vehicle in front of you brakes suddenly.

If you fail to keep a sufficient distance, and if you are caught very close to the car in front (defined as a gap of between 0.2 and 0.4 seconds, which equates to a distance between 7 m and 14 m at 130 km/h), you are liable to receive an recordable offence on your licence under the Demerit Point System, in addition to a fine. If the distance is less than 0.2 seconds (under 7 m at 130 km/h) you will be fined and your licence will be revoked for a minimum of six months.

You must maintain a distance of 20 m from all vehicles that run on rails (such as trams) unless you are overtaking them.

Vehicles that qualify as long vehicles (i.e lorries, traction units, buses, etc.) must maintain a distance of 50 m from any long vehicle ahead of them outside built-up areas.

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Last update: 1 January 2022

Responsible for the content: Federal Ministry for Climate Action, Environment, Energy, Mobility, Innovation and Technology