At the traffic light or stop sign, always stop with some space in front of you.
First, stopping with space in front of you gives you room to pull forward if another vehicle comes up behind and is about to rear-end you. Sometimes, all you need is three or four feet to give that rear-end guy enough space to miss you.
Second, if the vehicle stopped in front of you stalls or breaks down, this leaves you room to pull around, and you won't get stuck there at the light.
Third, it helps you reacquire your two-second space cushion when it's time to go. And, it helps keep you out of that intersection for a moment when the light turns green, and helps you miss the red-light runner. Don't enter intersections for the first four seconds after a light change. That is when red-light runners are entering your line of travel.