Sometimes, we are all guilty of driving too fast for the road conditions and maybe just too close to other cars. In some cases tailgating can cause a rear-end crash. We hope learning a few things about using your brakes will help make you a safer driver. In order to be a safe driver, it's important to understand stopping distances and perception time to be able to avoid being involved in a car accident collision.
If you’re interested in learning more about stopping distance and perception-reaction time, keep reading.
In an average size car, your stopping distance is time and room that it takes to bring a moving car to a complete stop. The following is required to stop a car:
topping distance = perception-reaction distance + braking distance
When you are driving a car, you should leave plenty of room in front of you to be able to come to a complete stop behind traffic. You need enough room ahead in case the traffic suddenly slows down, causing you to brake. However, your stopping distance will vary depending on the factors like the weather conditions and your driving speed. The stopping distance needed to stop will increase the faster you drive, and the condition of the road e.g., wet surface. Remember, you also need some time to see and process what's happening before you can start braking. The distances in this article are based on the average car length in the US and assumes the road is dry.
Generally, the stopping distance at 20 mph is around 3 car lengths. At 50 mph it's around 13 car lengths. If you're traveling at 70 mph, the stopping distance will need a huge 24 car lengths.
Besides your speed, other factors such as the following can affect your reaction time:
These are just some of the many factors that affect how quickly you react and hit the brakes when you see a hazard ahead of you. Once you brake, your stopping distance will depend on your car's condition as well as the road and weather conditions.
Braking distance is the distance in feet that your car will continue to travel on the road once you hit the brakes before it comes to a complete stop. The braking distance traveled will increase as your speed goes higher.
For a typical car with dry pavement, the braking distance at 50 mph is approximately 130 feet. The braking distance at 70 mph is a huge 246 feet, which is about 82 yards.
Perception reaction distance is the distance your car travels between the time you spot a hazard and starting to brake.
If the car in front of you suddenly slams on the brakes, then no matter how hard you try, you won't be able to brake until you perceive and decide to react. It'll take you time see and react, and therefore, you will travel some distance before you react to what's happening, decide to brake, and then hit the brake pedal.
As a rule of thumb, if you are paying attention to the road ahead, it will take about 1 second to perceive and react. Obviously, the faster you're going in your car, the further down the road you'll travel in that 1 second time.
So, the perception reaction distance at 50 mph is as follows:
Perception time = ¾ of a second to 1 second
Perception distance = 55 feet.
Reaction time= ¾ of a second to 1 second
Reaction distance= 55 feet.
You should leave at least the recommended amount of space when you drive a properly maintained car in good road and weather conditions. However, there are some additional factors that can increase braking distance:
The faster you drive your car then you will need more room to stop your vehicle. In other words, as your speed increases your stopping distance and force of impact. The increase and force of impact are one of the main reasons why speeding leads to dangerous car accident crashes.
The 2 second rule is a good rule of thumb that refers to a rough guide to use that you're leaving enough stopping distance between you and the car ahead. Here's how the two second rule works:
This is a good rule of thumb for car stopping distances in dry conditions, but if it's wet you should double the gap to 4 seconds.
Remember that it's only a rough guide and there's a margin for error.
If you or a loved one have been injured in a car accident, call us at 866-HIRE-JOE for a free no obligation consultation. We know from experience that even the most careful drivers can be involved in a crash if they are speeding or following too close, especially when the roads are icy, slippery, or snow-covered. Michigan No-Fault insurance law is complicated and getting benefits paid can be perilous without a lawyer. Our experienced Michigan car accident lawyers have the experience and winning track record you need to win the financial compensation you rightfully deserve.
Get more specific information about your car accident case or to start your case today, contact The Joseph Dedvukaj Firm or 866-HIRE-JOE for a free, no-obligation remote consultation from the safety of your home. BBB Rated A+ injury law firm.