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Think T and T in traffic

During your practical test, if the examiner asks you to park on the left behind a specific vehicle, remember the tyres and tarmac rule, often referred to as ‘T and T’. This means you should be able to see the back tyres of the vehicle in front and around a metre of tarmac at all times, hence the saying ‘tyres on tarmac – plus a bit’, usually one small car space. If you can’t see the back tyres of the car in front, you’re too close and put yourself at a disadvantage. There are good reasons to follow this rule, especially in slow moving traffic. For instance, you reduce the risk of running into the car in front should you be hit from behind. Again, if the car in front breaks down and you keep to the T and T rule, you’ll have space to manoeuvre around it and carry on. Alternatively, if you’re on an incline and the vehicle ahead has poor clutch control, they could roll back into you. If you’ve maintained a T and T gap, you can warn them with your horn and cut the risk. Another reason for maintaining this gap is cyclists and motorcyclists who can momentarily tuck in from other traffic. Don’t begrudge them this space and make yourself a better driver in the process. By keeping to the rule you’ll see more of the road, especially if there’s a large vehicle in front. While not a precise science, T and T offers you a useful technique to gauge a safe stopping distance in traffic.