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Question:

When driving at more than 40 mph, what is the safe minimum following distance for ideal daytime conditions?

A five seconds.
Explaination

"If you are driving a 40-foot truck and only counted up to 2 seconds, you’re too close. Drop back a little and count again until you have 4 seconds of following distance (or 5 seconds, if you’re going over 40 mph)."