Even if you are a careful driver, you may, at some point, find yourself following too close to the person in front of you. This is especially common in traffic congestion. It is also likely that you will have someone riding too close to the backend of your vehicle. This is an even more frustrating experience because you cannot really control the other driver. In any situation, not allowing enough distance between vehicles is a recipe for an accident because it reduces reaction and stopping times. There are things that you can do to ensure you avoid following too closely and some advice for what to do when someone drives too close to you.
The California Department of Motor Vehicles explains that you may end up driving too close if another vehicle cuts you off in traffic. If you can, it is best to avoid slamming on the brakes, unless you must, to avoid a collision. The better option is to take your foot off the gas pedal and slow down to allow enough space. If someone comes up behind you and drives too closely, you should also slow down to increase the space between you and the vehicle ahead of you. If possible, you should move to a different lane. Also, avoid braking too suddenly, which could result in a rear-end collision.
You can follow too closely without realizing it as well. For example, wet roadways require more stopping time, so you need to increase your following distance. You should also be further away from large trucks or a vehicle towing something. Also, if the vehicle is very large and you cannot properly see around it, then you also need to adjust your following distance so that you can respond in time if the vehicle brakes.