For most drivers, the act of driving becomes second nature soon after passing the driving test and gaining regular access to a vehicle. The problem is that where things become second nature, some of the finer details that were once deeply ingrained in us begin to slip away. Things like how to check certain parts of our engine for issues, check for correct tyre depths, and what a blinking light on the dashboard is supposed to represent, can all start to become distant memories. Complacency can affect all drivers and can lead to accidents (if you have been affected speak to a company like this Dallas car accident lawyer for more details).
Something that we all used to know so well but have now probably mostly forgotten is the correct stopping distance relating to travelling at different speeds. Avoiding accidents by sticking to the correct stopping distances is something we should all try to implement in our driving, which is why we are going to go over a little refresher course and jog those memories!
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Travelling at 20 mph
When travelling at 20 mph on small roads (typically on linking streets between buildings) it is important to remember that we still need time to think before we can act. That is why the recommended stopping distance is 12 metres (6 metres thinking time, 6 metres braking time), which is roughly 3 car lengths.
Travelling at 30mph – 40 mph
Any car accident comes with the risk of injury. At 30mph – 40mph, the risk of loss of life to pedestrians is significantly increased. Allowing 9m – 12m of thinking time and up to 24m of the braking distance will give you the opportunity to react and avoid a potentially fatal accident. In practical terms, this is around 6 – 9 car lengths.
Travelling above 50 mph (and up to 70mph)
At these speeds, the risk to life becomes a prominent concern. Any car accident that involves a car travelling at speeds of between 50mph and 70mph are expected to result in significant injuries to all involved (i.e. drivers, passengers, pedestrians, cyclists, road workers, etc.). At 50mph, you will likely require around 15 metres of thinking time before applying the brakes, with a further 38 metres needed to bring the car to a halt (a total of around 13 car lengths). At 70mph, you will need around 24 lengths to stop.
Remember – in rainy conditions, the average stopping distance should be doubled, and should be multiplied by ten if driving in icy conditions.